PhD Oral Defense of Raphaël Royauté, Department of Natural Resource Sciences
Behavioural differences between individuals are often consistent over time (personality traits) and correlated across multiple behavioural contexts (behavioural syndromes). These individual differences are ubiquitous across taxa and have far-reaching implications for ecology and evolution: determining the mechanisms maintaining them is central to behavioural ecology. These individual differences vary along ecological gradients and can be affected by human-induced environmental changes. Agroecosystems vary considerably in their intensity and frequency of human disturbances and are suitable systems to study alteration and modification of behavioural responses by individuals. Many beneficial arthropods, such as spiders, can be negatively affected by different management practices, notably the use of insecticides. In this work, Raphaël Royauté explores the determinants of individual behavioural variation in the context of agroecosystems, using the jumping spider Eris militaris (Araneae: Salticidae) as a model organism.