Professor (retired) Amotz Zahavi
Ph.D.: Tel Aviv University, 1970
Phone: (Office) +972-3-640-xxxx
(Home) +972-3-xxx-xxxx
E-mail: zahavi@post.tau.ac.il
Room#: 207b
Member's portrait

Research Interests

Field studies.

Although I am retired I continue to observe the babblers at Hazeva for 2-3 days a week.

I am looking for students (M.Sc., Ph. D., or Post Doc) for field work on various aspects of the behaviour of the babblers and other birds at Hazeva. (A student is expected to stay in Hazeva for more than half of the time of his/her studentship).

Theoretical studies in Chemical Signaling .

I try to apply the logic of the Handicap Principle to understand the message encoded in chemical signals within the multi cellular organism. The handicap principle predicts that a signal should convey information about certain phenotypic qualities of the signaler. Hence, we try to understand how a particular hormone represents in a reliable way the state and phenotypic qualities of the signaling cell that are of interest to the receiving cells. This study proceeds by reading the literature with students and discussions with experts. At present we study the steroid hormones.

Levels of selection .

I believe that the selection of individuals is the only mechanism that is of importance in evolution. Other levels of selection were suggested because researchers were unable to explain traits (mostly apparent altruism) on the basis of individual selection.

I interpret the altruistic behaviour of the babblers we study at Hazeva as selfish investments in advertising the claim of the altruist for its social prestige. We have also suggested a feasible explanation for the evolution of the Eusocial insects and of the slime molds by individual selection. (Zahavi & Zahavi, 1997)

Traveling and Teaching.

Since I am perhaps one of the few evolutionary biologists who believes that all adaptations, including the various forms of altruism, have evolved by individual selection, I am ready to travel anywhere to give seminars or short courses to lecture on these topics.



Selected Publications

Ward, P, and Zahavi, A. 1973. The importance of certain assemblages of birds as "information-centers" for food-finding.  Ibis 115: 517-534.

Zahavi, A., 1975. Mate Selection: A selection for a handicap. J. Theor. Biol. 53: 205-14.

Zahavi, A., 1977a  Reliability in communication systems and the evolution of Altruism. In: Evolutionary ecology,  ed. B. Stonehouse and C.M. Perrins, 253-59. London : Mcmillan Press.

Zahavi, A., 1977b. The cost of honesty (Further remarks on the handicap principle). J. Theoretical Biology, 67: 603-5.

Zahavi, A., 1977c. The testing of a bond. Anim. Behav. 25: 246-47.

Zahavi, A., 1978. Decorative patterns and the evolution of art. New Scientist. 80: 182-84

Zahavi, A., 1989.  Arabian babbler.   In: Lifetime reproduction in birds ed. I. Newton, 253-276.Academic Press. London

Zahavi, A., 1990. Arabian babblers: The quest for social status in a cooperative breeder.

In: Cooperative breeding in birds: long term studies of ecology and behaviour, ed. P.B.Stacey and W.D. Koenig, 103-30. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press.

Zahavi, A., 1993. The fallacy of conventional signaling. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B 338: 227-230

Zahavi, A., 1995. Altruism as a handicap - The limitations of kin selection and reciprocity. Avian Biol. 26: 1-3.

Zahavi, A. and Zahavi, A. 1997. The Handicap Principle: A missing piece of Darwin 's puzzle.  Oxford University Press. New-York, Oxford .

Zahavi, A., 2003. Indirect selection and individual selection in sociobiology: My personal views on theories of social behaviour. Animal Behaviour, 65, 859-863.

Zahavi, A.,  2005. Is group selection necessary to explain social adaptations in microorganisms? Heredity 94: 143-144.

Zahavi, A. 2006. Sexual Selection, Signal Selection and the Handicap Principle. In: Reproductive Biology and Phylogeny of Birds. Part B. ed. B.G.M.Jamieson. pp 143-159. Science Publishers, Plymouth.



Full Publications

Wahrman, J. and Zahavi, A. 1953. Intra-generic difference in chromosome numbers of spiny mice (Rodentia: Murinae). Bull. Res. Counc. Israel III: 265.

 

Wahrman, J. and Zahavi, A. 1955. Cytological contributions to the phylogeny and classification of the rodent genus Gerbillus. Nature 175: 600-602

 

Zahavi, A. and Wahrman, J. 1956. Chromosome races in the genus Acomys (Rodentia: Murinae). Bull. Res. Counc. Israel Vol 5B, No 3-4. Sec 8, p 350 E.

 

Zahavi, A. 1957. The breeding birds of the Huleh swamp and lake ( Northern Israel ). Ibis 99: 600-607.

 

Zahavi, A. and Wahrman, J. 1957. The cytotaxonomy, ecology and evolution of the gerbils and jirds of Israel (Rodentia: Gerbillinae). Mammalia 21: 341-380.

 

Wahrman, J. and Zahavi, A. 1958. Cytogenetic analysis of mammalian sibling species by means of hybridization. Proc. Xth Int. Congr. Genetics 11:304-305

 

Zahavi, A. 1971a. The social behaviour of the white Wagtail, Motacilla alba, wintering in Israel . Ibis 113: 203-211.

 

Zahavi, A. 1971b. The function of pre-roost gatherings and communal roosts. Ibis 113: 106-109.

 

Ward, P. and Zahavi, A. 1973. The importance of certain assemblages of birds as "information-centers" for food-finding. Ibis 115: 517-534.

 

Zahavi, A. 1974. Communal nesting by the Arabian Babbler, a case of individual selection. Ibis 116: 84-87.

 

Zahavi, A. and Dudai, R. 1974. First breeding record of Blandford's Warbler Sylvia leucomelanea. Israel Journal of Zoology 23: 55-56.

 

Zahavi, A. 1975a. Mate selection a selection for a handicap. J. Theor. Biol . 53: 205-214.

 

Zahavi, A. 1975b Kin Associations in the Arabian babbler Turdoides squmiceps. Proc. 6th Scientific conf. of the Israeli Ecological Society .

 

Zahavi, A. 1976a. Cooperative nesting in Eurasian birds. Acta 16th Con. Inter. Ornithol ., ed H.J. Frith and J.H.Calaby, pp. 685-693. Canberra , Australia ,

 

Zahavi, A. 1976b. Wetland and wildfowl in south Turkey . IUCN publications, New Series 12: 75-77.

 

Broom, D. M., Dick, W. J. A., Johnson, D. I. And Zahavi, A. 1976. Pied Wagtail Roosting and Feeding Behaviour. Bird Study , 23, pp 267-280

Zahavi, A. 1977a. Reliability in communication systems and the evolution of altruism. In: Evolutionary Ecology , ed. B. Stonehouse, and C.M. Perrins. pp253-259. London : Macmillan Press.

 

Zahavi, A. 1977b. The cost of honesty (Further remarks on the Handicap Principle).

J. Theor. Biol. 67: 603-605.

 

Zahavi, A. 1977c. The testing of a bond. Anim. Behav . 25: 246-247.

 

Zahavi, A. 1978a. Decorative patterns and the evolution of art. New Scientist. 80: 182-184.

 

Zahavi, A. 1978b. Why shouting. Amer. Nat . 113: 155-156.

 

Zahavi, A. 1978c. Parasitism and nest predation in parasitic cuckoos. Amer. Nat . 113: 157-159.

 

Zahavi, A. 1980. Ritualization and the evolution of movement signals. Behaviour 72: 77-81.

 

Zahavi, A. 1981a. Natural selection, sexual selection and the selection of signals. In: Evolution today, ed. G.G.E. Scudder and J.L. Reveal, pp133-138. Pittsburgh , Carnegie-Melon University Press.

 

Zahavi, A. 1981b. The lateral display of fishes: bluff or honesty in signalling? . Behav. Anal. Lett. 1: 233-235.

 

Zahavi, A. 1981c. Some comments on Sociobiology. Auk 98: 412-414.

 

Zahavi, A. 1982. The pattern of vocal signals and the information they convey . Behaviour 80: 1-8.

 

Zahavi, A. 1982. Evolution of group life with special reference to the Arabian Babbler (Turdoides squamiceps). Acta 18th Con. Intern. Ornithol ,. ed. V.D. Ilychev, and V.M. Gavrilov, 2:1043 Moscow : Academy of Sciences of the USSR , 1985.

 

Zahavi, A. 1982. Some further comments on the gatherings of birds. Acta 18th Con. Intern. Ornithol, . ed. V.D. Ilychev, and V.M. Gavrilov, 2: 919-920 Moscow : Academy of Sciences of the USSR , 1985.

 

Zahavi, A. 1983. This week citation classic: The importance of certain assemblages of birds as "information centers" for food finding . Current Contents 15: 26.

 

Zahavi, A, .Eisikowitch, d., Kadman-Zahavi, A. and Cohen, A. 1984. A new approach to flower constancy in honey bees. 21 Symposium International sur la pollinisation (Les Colloques de l'INRA No 21) INRA Publ.(ed.), pp89-95 Versilles.

 

Zahavi, A. and Ralt, D. 1984. Social Adaptations in Myxobacteria. In : Myxobacteria: Development and Cell Interactions, ed. E. Rosenberg , pp215-220. New York : Springer Verlag.

 

Zahavi, A. 1986a. Reliability in signalling motivation. The behavioral and Brain Sciences. 9: 4. 741-742.

 

Zahavi, A. 1986b. Mate guarding in Arabian Babbler, a group-living songbird. Acta 19th Cong. Intern. Ornithol, Ottawa , Canada pp. 420-227.

 

Zahavi, A. 1986c. Mate choice through signals. Acta 19th Cong. Intern. Ornithol, Ottawa , Canada pp 956-960.

 

Carlisle , T. R. and Zahavi, A. 1986. Helping at the nest, allofeeding and social status in immature Arabian babblers . Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol . 18: 339-351.

 

Zahavi, A. 1987. The Theory of Signal Selectiom and some of its Implications. In: Proc. Intern. Symp. Biol. Evol, ed V.P, Delfino. pp305-327. Bari , Italy : Adriatica Editrica,.

 

Zahavi, A. 1989. Arabian Babbler. In: Lifetime reproduction in birds , ed. I. Newton, pp253-276. London : Academic Press.

 

Zahavi, A. 1990. Arabian Babblers: The quest for social status in a cooperative breeder. In Cooperative breeding in birds. Long-term studies of ecology and behavior . Ed P.B Stacey. and W.D. Koenig, pp103-130. Cambridge : Cambridge University press.

 

Zahavi, A. 1991. On the definition of sexual selection, Fisher's model, and the evolution of waste and of signals in general. Anim. Behav . 42: 501-503.

 

Lotem, A., Nakamura, H. and Zahavi, A. 1991. Rejection of cuckoo egg in relation to host age: a possible evolutionary equilibrium. Behav. Ecol . 3: 128-132.

 

Zahavi, A. 1992. Sexual selection: Badges and signals. Tree 7: 30-31.

 

Zahavi, A. 1993. The fallacy of conventional signalling . Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B 338: 227-230.

 

Zahavi, A. 1993. Some clarifications of the notion of signals: a reply to Richner. Anim. Behav . 45: 402.

 

Zahavi, A. 1995. Altruism as a handicap - the limitations of kin selection and reciprocity. Avian Biol . 26: 1-3.

 

Lotem, A., Nakamura, H. and Zahavi, A. 1995. Constrains on egg discrimination and cuckoo-host co-evolution. Anim. Behav ., 49: 1185-1209.

 

Nahon, E, Atzmony, D., Zahavi, A. and Granot, D. 1995. Mate selection in yeast: A reconsideration of the signals and message encoded by them. J. Theor. Biol . 172: 315-22

 

Lotem, A., Nakamura, H. and Zahavi, A. 1995. Constrains on host discrimination and cuckoo-host co-evolution . Anim. Behav . 11: 43-54.

 

Zahavi, A. 1996a. the evolution of communal roosts as information centers and the pitfall of group-selecion: a rejoiner to Richner and Heeb . Behav. Ecol . 7: 118-119.

 

Zahavi, A. 1996b. Cooperation among lions: an overlooked theory. TREE 11: 252.

 

Zahavi, A. 1997. A Reply to John. Anim. Behav ., 54: 228-229

 

Atzmony, A., Zahavi, A. and Nanjundiah, V. 1997. Altruistic behaviour in Dictyostelium discoideum explained on the basis of individual selection. Current Science , 72, 142-145.

 

Zahavi, A. and Zahavi, A. 1997. The Handicap Principle . Oxford Uniersity Press. New-York.

 

Zahavi, A. and Zahavi, A. 1998. The Handicap Principle. Science Spectra 14: 72-77

 

Lundy, K.J., Parker, P.G. and Zahavi, A. 1998. Reproduction by subordinates in cooperatively breeding arabian babblers is uncommon but predictable. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol . 43: 173-180.

 

Zahavi, A. and Zahavi, A. 1999. The Handicap Principle . Oxford Uniersity Press. Paperback. New-York.

 

Zahavi, A. 1999. Babbler altruism and kin selection – a reply to Jon . Jour. Of Avian Biology 30:1.

 

Zahavi, A. 2000. Altruism: the unrecognized selfish traits. Journal of Consciousness Studies , 7: 253-256.

 

Zahavi, A. 2003. Indirect selection and individual selection in sociobiology: My personal views on theories of social behaviour. Animal Behaviour , 65, 859-863.

 

Zahavi, A. 2003. Comment on: Perry et al. Social Conventions in wild White-faced Capuchin Monkeys . Current Anthropology 44, 261.

 

Pozis-Francois, A., Zahavi, A and Zahavi, A. 2004. Social play in Arabian Babblers. Behaviour, 141:425-450.

 

Zahavi, A. 2004. The details of food-sharing interactions - their cost in social
prestige. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (4): 570

 

Zahavi, A. 2005. Is group selection necessary to explain social adaptations in microorganisms? Heredity 94: 143-144.

 

Kalishov, A., Zavahi, A. & Zahavi, A. 2005. Allofeeding in Arabian Babblers ( Turdoides squamiceps ). Journal of Ornithology , 146: 141-150. DOI: 10.1007/s10336-005-0073-x

 

Zahavi, A. (2005). The handicap principle in social collaborations. – abstract book, Plenary talk presented at the XXIX. International Ethological Conference, Budapest , Hungary .

 

Zahavi, A. 2006. Sexual Selection, Signal Selection and the Handicap Principle. In: Reproductive Biology and Phylogeny of Birds. Part B. ed. B.G.M.Jamieson. pp 143-159. Science Publishers, Plymouth .

Zahavi A. 2008. The Handicap Principle in Human Social Interactions. In Judaism in Biological Perspective. ed.Goldberg R. pp. 166-172. Paradigm Publishers London .



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