My scientific career started 2010 in Bern,
Switzerland, when I enrolled as a Biology student at the University of Bern. Supervised
by Prof. Dr. Barbara Taborsky, I did both my Bachelor's and Master's Thesis at
the Institute of Behavioural Ecology, where I worked with the model Neolamprologus pulcher (a cooperatively
During my Bachelor studies, I evaluated how
suited the commonly applied two-stimulus choice test is to test for mate
preferences for N. pulcher. In my
Master's I investigated how early life experiences, like group composition and
predation pressure, are influencing an individual's dispersal decision and
behaviours displayed towards a potential mate.
In 2018, I moved to Münster to start my PhD, which
is part of the of the NC³ collaborative research centre. Under the supervision
of Prof. Dr. Helene Richter and Prof. Dr. Norbert Sachser, my project will
focus on niche conformance and cognitive bias, using mice as model species.
Together with Marko Bračić, we aim to first
identify factors that lead to a positive - or negative - cognitive bias in
mice. Having identified optimistic and pessimistic individuals, I then want to
explore how these individuals differ in other ways too, like anxiety levels,
gene expression, and epigenetics; Or in general: how well they cope with their
current environment, according to their cognitive bias.
S, Bohn L, Oberhummer E, Nyman C,
Taborsky B (2017) Divergence of developmental trajectories is triggered interactively
by early social and ecological experience in a cooperative breeder. PNAS;
published ahead of print October 6, 2017, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1705934114