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Debottam Bhattacharjee Ph.D.

Debottam studied Zoology (B.Sc. and M.Sc., 2008-13) at the Presidency University (erstwhile Presidency College), in Kolkata, India. He was always fascinated by the natural world and had specific interest in wildlife biology. He worked on free-ranging dogs in India during his doctoral studies at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata, India. After working for nearly half a decade on intra-specific communication, cognition and behavioural ecology of the Indian free-ranging dogs, he obtained his PhD in 2020.


He received the prestigious EU Marie-Sklodowska Curie Individual Fellowship in 2020 to start his postdoctoral studies at the Animal Ecology group, Utrecht University, the Netherlands. He will be studying cooperation in different macaque species focussing on various proximate mechanisms, e.g. personality, prosociality, dominance-rank relationships, endocrine, etc. Such an interdisciplinary and comparative approach will largely enable him to understand the evolution of cooperation in animal societies.

Personal website: click here

Lisa Horn Ph.D.

Lisa Horn studied Zoology at the University of Vienna and Psychology at the University of Western Australia in Perth. She graduated as an MSc in 2007 with a project on individual differences in social learning in dogs. After graduation, she worked as a research assistant in the comparative psychology group at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig. During her subsequent PhD project, which she carried out at the University of Vienna and the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, she focused on studying the mechanisms and consequences of social bonding by investigating the link between the dog-human relationship and socio-cognitive abilities in dogs. After finishing her PhD in 2012, she worked at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, investigating social attention to caregivers and unfamiliar people in pet dogs and 2-year-old children.

Currently, she is investigating the evolution of pro-sociality by comparing the frequency of and motivations for pro-social behavior in human children and several corvid species. Moreover, she is interested in intra-individual variations in pro-social tendencies depending on the identity of the interaction partner.

Martina Stocker M.Sc.

Broadly, Martina is interested in animal (social) behaviour and its interaction with physiology. During her master studies in “Animal Behaviour, Neurobiology and Cognition” she developed a vast interest in the fascinating field of behavioural endocrinology. For that reason, she worked on hormonal responses to experimentally induced fission-fusion dynamics in ravens (Corvus corax) in the course of and master thesis and got an Endocrinology Lab Assistant position at the University of Vienna until she started her PhD.

Currently, she is focusing on the correlation between hormones and cooperative behaviour. Her research goals are directed toward developing a bigger picture of cooperation by investigating cognitive, social and endocrine factors in different corvids (common ravens, azure-winged magpies) and primate species (long-tailed macaques, common marmosets).

Vedrana Šlipogor Ph.D.

Vedrana obtained her Bachelor’s (2009) and Master’s (2012) degree from University of Zagreb (Croatia). Since October 2014 she conducted her PhD studies at the Department of Cognitive Biology, University of Vienna, and received her Ph.D. in 2021. Vedrana Šlipogor is broadly interested in multiple topics in animal (social) cognition, behaviour and physiology. In her PhD project she is pursuing an integrative approach to the study of animal personality, using common marmosets as a model system. Conceptually, she aims to evaluate different methods in studying personality in non-human primates; empirically, she aims to i) combine behavioural and physiological parameters of individual differences, ii) investigate social and non-social personality traits in different social settings and iii) test for possible effects of personality traits on social learning. Currently, she resides at the University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice.

Lisa-Claire Vanhooland M.Sc.

Lisa-Claire got her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Strasbourg (France) in 2013. She pursued her studies with a Master in “Behaviour, Neurobiology and Cognition” at the University of Vienna, and undertook her Master thesis on Mirror Self-recognition in carrion crows at the department of Cognitive Biology from which she graduated in 2016. From Dec. 2015 up until the start for her PhD, she joined the team of the Haidlhof research station as a Research Assistant / Animal Trainer. Since October 2017, she started her PhD on “Animal Visual Self-recognition and Self-Awareness” funded by a Uni:docs fellowship. Lisa-Claire has a broad interest in comparative psychology, social cognition and communication. Her current research focusses on 3 main topics: 1. investigating the phylogenetic distribution of mirror understanding amongst corvids through mirror use and mirror self-recognition tasks; 2. investigating the ontogenetic development of mirror-self-recognition in common ravens; 3. Establishing new experimental approaches to the study of self-awareness in non-human animals.

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