Featured Article

What forces produce and maintain social inequality, and why do society members tolerate this inequality? The “One Percent” clearly benefit from having high status, but low-status individuals have strong incentive to challenge the established pecking order and try to improve their position. This conundrum is particularly striking in the societies of many primates and spotted hyenas, where females who are born to low-status mothers rarely manage to improve their position. Here we find that females who are strongly allied with their group-mates are more likely to improve their status, and that upward social mobility is often achieved with support from their closest allies. This suggests that, much like some animals compete physically for status, these species compete through social alliances.
In Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Recent Publications

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Strauss ED, Jensen FH, Gersick AS, Thomas M, Holekamp KE, Strandburg-Peshkin A (under revision). Daily ranging and den usage patterns structure fission-fusion dynamics and social associations in spotted hyenas. Preprint: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.10.01.462772

Strauss ED (in press). Demographic turnover can be a leading driver of hierarchy dynamics, and social inheritance modifies its effects. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, B.

McCormick SK, Laubach ZM, Strauss ED, Montgomery TM, Holekamp KE (2022). Evaluating drivers of female dominance in the spotted hyena. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. 10: 1-15. https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2022.934659

Ogino M, Strauss ED, Farine DR. (2022) Challenges to studying long-term effects on moment-by-moment collective actions. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, B. 378: 20220064. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2022.0064

He P, Klarevas-Irby JA, Papageorgiou D, Christensen C, Strauss ED, Farine DR. (2022). A guide to sampling design for GPS-based studies of social behavior. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. https://doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.13999

Strauss ED, Shizuka D. (2022) The ecology of wealth inequality in animal societies. Proceedings of the Royal Society, B. 289: 20220500 https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2022.0500

Strauss ED, Curley JP, Shizuka D, Hobson EA (2022). The centennial of the pecking order: current state and future prospects for the study of dominance hierarchies. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, B. 376: 20200432. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2020.0432

Strauss ED, Shizuka D (2022). The dynamics of dominance: open questions, challenges, and solutions. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, B. 377: 20200445. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2020.0445

Strauss ED, DeCasien AR, Galindo G, Hobson EA, Shizuka D, Curley JP (2022). DomArchive: a century of published dominance data. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, B. 376: 20200436. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2020.0436

Brown AK, Pioon MO, Holekamp KE, Strauss ED (2021). Infanticide by females is a leading source of juvenile mortality in a large social carnivore. The American Naturalist 198. https://doi.org/10.1086/716636.

Holekamp KE, Strauss ED (2020) Reproduction within a hierarchical society from a female’s perspective. Integrative and Comparative Biology 60: 753–764. https://doi.org/10.1093/icb/icaa068.

Strauss ED, Shizuka D, Holekamp KE. (2020) Juvenile rank acquisition influences fitness independent of adult rank. Proceedings of the Royal Society, B. 287: 20192969. http://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2019.2969.

Green DS, Farr M, Holekamp KE, Strauss ED, Zipkin E. (2019) Can hyena behavior predict abundances of sympatric carnivores? Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, B. 374: 20180065. http://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2018.0065.

Strauss ED, Holekamp KE. (2019) Social alliances improve rank and fitness in convention-based societies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 116: 8919–8924. On the cover of the 30 April, 2019 issue. http://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1810384116.

Strauss ED, Holekamp KE. (2019) Inferring longitudinal hierarchies: Framework and methods for studying the dynamics of dominance. Journal of Animal Ecology 88: 521-536. http://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.12951.

Smith JE, Lehmann KDS, Montgomery TM, Strauss ED, Holekamp KE. (2017) Insights from long-term field studies of mammalian carnivores. Journal of Mammalogy 98: 631-641. http://doi.org/10.1093/jmammal/gyw194.

Holekamp KE, Strauss ED. (2016) Aggression and dominance: An interdisciplinary overview. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences 12: 44-51. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.cobeha.2016.08.005

Jones SC, Strauss ED, Holekamp KE. (2015) Ecology of African Carrion. Pp. 459-489 in “Carrion Ecology, Evolution, and Their Applications”. Benbow ME, Tomberlin JK, Tarone AM (Eds). CRC Press. Boca Raton, FL.