Banded mongooses

Banded mongooses are unusual cooperative breeders in which many females breed together and each helper focuses its attention on just one offspring. I am collaborating with Mike Cant, who leads the banded mongoose project, and Sue Walker at Chester Zoo to address behavioural endocrine questions about reproductive conflict and cooperative care in this tractable model system

The banded mongoose project has been following the fates of up to twelve packs of bandeds on the beautiful Mweya peninsula in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park since 1994.
More information about the project can be found here

Published findings to date include:


Thompson, F., Cant, M.A., Marshall, H., Vitikainen, E.I.K., Sanderson, J.L., Nichols, H.J., Gilchrist, J.S., Bell, M.B.V., Young, A.J., Hodge, S.J., Johnstone, R. (2017)

Reproductive competition triggers mass eviction in cooperative banded mongooses

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences


Thompson, F., Marshall, H., Sanderson, J.L., Vitikainen, E.I.K., Nichols, H.J., Gilchrist, J., Young, A.J., Hodge, S.J., Cant, M.A. (2015)

Reproductive competition triggers mass eviction in cooperative banded mongooses

Proceedings of the Royal Society B


Sanderson, J.L., Nichols, H., Marshall, H.M., Vitikainen, E., Thompson, F., Walker, S., Cant, M.A., Young, A.J. (2015)

Elevated glucocorticoid concentrations during gestation predict reduced reproductive success in female banded mongooses

Biology Letters


Sanderson, J.L., Stott, I., Young, A.J., Vitikainen, E., Hodge, S.J., Cant, M.A. (2015)

The origins of consistent individual differences in cooperation in wild banded mongooses

Animal Behaviour


Sanderson, J.L., Young, A.J., Hodge, S.J., Kyabulima, S., Walker, S., Cant, M.A. (2014)

Hormonal mediation of a carry-over effect in a wild cooperative mammal

Functional Ecology

(Covered by NERC Planet Earth here and The Smithsonian)

We also conduct research on an array of social mammals,
from singular & plural cooperative breeders to communal breeders: