My research interests centre on the evolution of cooperative animal societies. In particular, I study the causes of conflict within societies, how conflicts are resolved, and the impact this has at an individual and population-wide level. Investigating these issues is key to understanding how cooperative associations are maintained and provides insight into the social and ecological conditions under which cooperative societies evolve. My work draws on a variety of biological disciplines, combining behavioural, experimental and genetic methods. This approach provides a powerful technique, revealing the important influences of reproductive success, sex, kinship and even individual genes on the evolution of animal behaviour. More recently, I have begun to apply genetic methods to conservation situations. I hope to make some difference to the current extinction crisis - every little helps.