My work focuses on (mammalian) behavioural adaptations to ecological and social constraints. I am very interested in how animals trade-off the costs and benefits of their behavioural options to achieve adaptive choices in changing environments. As the behavioural responses of animals to ecological or social challenges are often mediated by hormones, my research also incorporates a more proximate approach, which previously focused on the interplay between social factors, hunger and glucocorticoids. In my current project I am working with others to investigate the molecular mechanisms (DNA-methylation) underlying the impact of social status on health and various life-history traits.
Key-words: social dynamics, life-history, trade-offs, early-life effects, phenotypic plasticity, allostatic load, demography, individual-based data, spotted hyena