My research uses a multidisciplinary approach to investigate how animal societies evolve, combining observational data with genetic, ecological and biochemical data. In particular, my work has focused on four interconnecting themes relating to the evolution of animal societies 1) exploring the evolution of cooperation 2) understanding the importance of inbreeding and inbreeding avoidance in cooperative species 3) investigating the role of scent communication in cooperation and breeding decisions, and 4) understanding the genetic structure of mammalian societies. While my previous work has extensively used population genetic techniques, I am currently working to extend my research to use genomic methods (such as RADseq and SNP data) to address these themes as they provide a powerful tool to understand the genetic basis of traits associated with social evolution.
I am currently working with Prof Hoffman at Bielefeld University on two projects (1) the evolution of scent communication across a clade of mammals; mole-rats (2) the development of olfacory cues to relatedness in banded mongooses. These projects are funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Leverhulme Trust respectively.
Department of Animal Behaviour
tel.: +49 521 106-2819