Time and energy management by a Neotropical scatter-hoarding rodent

Many rodent species hoard seeds as food reserves on which they depend during periods of food scarcity. Acouchies in South American rainforest do so by burying seeds in widely scattered soil surface caches. How much the animals should invest in spacing out seeds is thought to depend on the energy value of seeds and the density-dependent risk of caches getting stolen by food competitors. Acouchies should prefer larger, more nutritious seeds above smaller ones, and should hide larger seeds farther away into lower densities.

You will review the literature on the ecology of scatter-hoarding, survival analysis, and dynamic state variable models. You will analyse existing video material on size selectivity and time expenditure of acouchies that removed seeds from cafeteria-style feeding plots in . Seed size within these plots varied up to 30-fold. You will use survival analysis and dynamic state variable modelling to analyse the data. You will write a thesis in English.

Used skills

  • Exploring literature
  • Writing
  • Analysing data with survival analysis, building a dynamic state variable model


The courses Statistics I and II  should have been finished with a sufficient result. It is advised, but not necessary to have followed the course Advanced statistics.


Between 24 and 39 credits.