Studying how animals learn, use information strategically, and evaluate their options
Animal Comparative Economics lab
Dr. Felix Oberhauser
Now a post-doc at the Max Plank Institute for Collective Behaviour in Konstanz - go look for him there!
I have always been fascinated by ants, and as a child spent many hours watching them go about their mysterious business. My growing interest in self-organizing systems and emergence led me to the study of the human brain and its ability to self-organize. In order to achieve a coherent understanding of this complex and interdisciplinary topic, I completed both a BSc in Psychology and an MSc in Biology.
I have also ventured into tropical ecology and nutrient fluxes in my Master’s thesis, investigating the role of fungal patches in the Azteca/Cecropia ant-plant symbiosis in Costa Rica with Dr. Veronika Mayer. About this time, I decided to remain in the interesting area of ant research for the future but to combine it with my other academic expertise in psychology and collective decision making.
During an internship in Würzburg working with Prof. Dr. Flavio Roces I investigated task allocation in Acromyrmex lundi leaf-cutter ants. This equipped me with the skills and background I needed to begin my doctoral research here in the ACElab.
As a doctoral researcher in the ACElab, I am using my knowledge of animal cognition and psychology to examine the effect of expectations on value perception as well as higher cognitive abilities in ants.
The pheromone deposition behavior of Lasius niger can be easily recognized, providing us a powerful tool to address these topics.
For a list of publications, please see the publications tab.