Graden avlegges ved Universitetet i Sørøst-Norge (USN), Fakultet for teknologi, naturvitenskap og maritime fag.
I studied relationship between genetics and behaviour of Eurasian beavers; specifically the mating system, mate choice behaviour.
During my research, I found that beavers are socially monogamous species, and most of them remain faithful to their partners throughout their life.
However, some beavers especially the old females that have produced less than average number of kits throughout their lifetime, participate in extra-pair copulation with intruders, always being younger male beavers living in nearby territory. There can be several explanations to it, i.e. either old female beavers likely do it as a last resort to increase the progeny and use other young male beavers as toy-boys, or the old male beavers were not strong enough to protect their partners from young intruders.
My results also suggested that we learn more about beavers when we study them as a couple, since they live together with their partners until one of the partners dies.
I also found that the old beavers, and the beavers living near the empty territory were more successful at acquiring it, as compared to the young beavers, and the beavers living away from the available territory.
Finally, in case of mate choice, I found that beavers preferred similar aged individuals as partners, likely because they are more compatible with each other.
Though my research suggests, beavers favour more inbred individuals as partners; the results were uncertain, hence, more research in this area is required.