Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Department of Human Behavior, Ecology and Culture
Deutscher Platz 6
I am a behavioural ecologist interested in the proximate mechanisms that shape wild animal behaviours with a particular focus on non-human primates. My research interests span a broad range of fields including social behaviour, social-cognition, endocrinology and communication. I conduct research in the field using a combination of behavioural observations, ecological measures, non-invasive endocrine sample collection, sound and video recordings and experimental approaches.
Currently, I work as part of two large projects. I investigate the behavioural, physiological and socio-cognitive costs of early life adversity, including maternal loss, in wild chimpanzees as part of Catherine Crockford’s ERC grant ‘Ape Attachment’. In parallel, and since the beginning of 2021, I took up a new post-doctoral position as part of a Max Planck collaboration, the Evolution of Brain Connectivity Project, which examines the complexity of primate vocal communication and correlates with relevant white matter tract size and projections in the brain. This project is comparative, operating at species, population, individual and ontogenetic levels.
In a previous post-doctoral position, I studied the differences in cooperation structures, social dynamics, and social cognition between our two closest relatives, bonobos and chimpanzees. Our project highlighted novel species-level differences in social (e.g., affiliative exchange patterns and social partner selectivity) and within-group cooperation dynamics (e.g., the motivation to inform conspecifics about a danger).
|2013||PhD in Biology, German Primate Centre and Georg August University – Göttingen – Germany|
Dissertation: “Costs of mate-guarding in wild male long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis)”.
Advisors: Dr. Antje Engelhardt and Prof. Dr. Julia Fischer.
Master’s Degree in Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolution – Paul Sabatier University – Toulouse – France.
|2004||Bachelor degree in Organic Biology – University Montpellier II – France|
|Nov. 2008 – Jul. 2011||Costs of mate-guarding in wild male long-tailed macaques|
Field work for my PhD thesis, Aras Napal and Ketambe, Gunung Leuser National Park, Sumatra, Indonesia
Duties: Focal animal sampling, phenology/demography/GPS data collection, faecal and urine sample collection and processing for hormonal and genetic analysis, assistant training and team management.
|Feb. – Dec. 2007||Vocalisations and scent marking behaviour of Milne-Edwards Sifaka (Propithecus edwardsi)|
Field research assistant of Erik Patel (Cornell University, USA)
Ranomafana National park, Madagascar.
Duties: Acoustical recording, Spectrographic analysis, Focal animal sampling, GPS data collection and data analysis.
|Nov. 2005 - Jun. 2006||Functional links between landscape pattern and community|
structure on insect and bird communities in rural landscapes
Master’s research trainee with the INRA (National Institute of Research in Agronomy), Toulouse, France (Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Gérard Balent, Dr. Annie Ouin)
Duties: Ecological modelling, GIS analysis, script writing for statistical software.
|Aug. – Sept. 2005||Pairbond attachement in titi monkeys (Callicebus brunneus) |
Field research assistant for PhD Student (Columbia University,USA)
Rio Los Amigos Reserve, CICRA Research Station, Peru
Duties: Focal animal and scan sampling, playback experiment.
|Feb. - May 2005||Habituation of roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) to human presence|
Trainee with the INRA, laboratory CEFS (Behaviour and Ecology of Wild Animals), Toulouse, France
Duties: Scan animal sampling, data analysis, multivariate statistical analysis.
|Jul. 2004||Olfactory communication of dung beetles (Scarabeus laticollis)|
Trainee with CEFE (Centre of Evolutionary and Functional Ecology)
Duties: Odour preference experiments, data analysis.
|Jul. 2003||Protection of iguanas|
Voluntary work with “Iguana station”, Utila Island, Honduras
Duties: Animal feeding, tourist conservation information, eco-touristic visit in the primary forest, releasing animals, behavioural data collection.
|Aug. 2002||Protection of marine turtles |
Voluntary work with "Archelon" Association, Crete, Greece.
Duties: Morning and night surveys on the beach, nest and birth recording, tourist conservation information.
|2009||$13.442||Research Grant of the Leakey Foundation|
|2008||€145.900||Evolutionary Biology Grant for PhD, VolkswagenStiftung|
|2008||$24.992||Dissertation fieldwork Grant of the Wenner Gren Foundation.|
International Journal of Primatology, Plos One, Leakey foundation.