Without scent, food would be stale, walking in the summer rain would not get you a soothing feeling, and we probably would get food poisoning because we would not avoid the rancid smelling diner around the corner. The scent of different items provides us with substantial information about our surroundings. This holds true also or even more for other individuals we encounter. Many decisions in the animal kingdom are based on information transmitted by chemical cues in their odour. Chemical and olfactory communication is arguably one of the oldest forms of communication. I am interested in how olfaction shapes individual identity and information. In my work for my Master’s thesis I am investigating chemical profiles of Antarctic fur seals. Using skin swabs I try to identify differences in individual scent profiles and differences among breeding beaches.
Previous Research and other interests
For my Bachelor’s work I conducted breeding experiments with Zebra finches. We looked at whether these passerine birds are able to discriminate intra-specific brood parasitism by smell.
As part of my Master’s degree I performed experiments on two subspecies of bush crickets (Poecilimon veluchianus) from Greece. We investigated differences in the distribution of sexual selected traits in individuals along a contact zone for these parapatrically distributed subspecies.
Department of Animal Behavior