About me

meI am a wildlife biologist interested in the behavioural and physiological aspects of group living in vertebrates. I consider myself to be somewhat of a “research chimera”, as I use methods from different fields to adress a variation of questions in the framework of evolutionary ecology.

I currently work with wild-type Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) and bats, especially the greater sac-winged bat (Saccopteryx bilineata). Both species of mammals are highly social and gregarious. You find details on the research projects by following the links on the left. You can also download all publications as pdfs for free .

Within the last years, I have used a multidisciplinary approach to study factors mediating sociality, such as costs and benefits of reciprocal cooperation in rats , as well as physiological adaptations to costs of group living, such as the immune system of bats. Generally, I investigated how the condition of an individual can be influenced by various factors and eventually signaled to other group members. I aim at combining these two aspects by focusing on the importance of physiological adaptations to group living, as well as signaling of individual quality among conspecifics.

My current research questions are:

  • Which informations are used by an individual to decide whether to provide help to an unrelated conspecific or not?
  • Are informations provided by the receiving individuals honest or manipulative?
  • Which olfactory cues are involved during reciprocal cooperation (in collaboration with Gregory Roeder and Ted Turlings, University of Neuchatel)
  • What are the genetic drivers of cooperative behaviour (in cooperation with the Department of Evolutionary Genetics of the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin)
I am always interested in international collaborations, so please do not hesitate to contact me. Also, check out the gallery with pictures from field trips.

researchgate    google    ORCID