Research of the Behavioural Ecology Group

The aim of the Behavioural Ecology Group is to answer questions on the causes and consequences of behavioural traits and strategies, and to determine their implications especially in social contexts.

Our main research focus is social behaviour, involving a range of projects. This includes research on communication, cooperation, cognition, family conflicts, predator-prey interactions, social networks, territoriality and movement decisions, animal personality, and early developmental effects on behaviour, using wild and captive animals as model organisms.

By applying our expertise in animal behaviour to different study systems - wild animals, farm animals and companion animals - our research and teaching integrates knowledge from these approaches. Our interests in behavioural ecology, applied animal behaviour and animal welfare and conservation behaviour ideally complement each other leading to knowledge transfer between these fields. One linking approach is our focus on individual behavioural decisions and their causes, correlates and predictors, which all play a central role in understanding behaviour in animals from a mechanistic and an evolutionary perspective.