My primary research interest focuses on understanding non-human primate behavioural innovations and traditions using a Tinbergian perspective. In particular, I aim to explore the ways in which non-adaptive behavioural patterns may originate, spread within social groups, and be maintained and transformed over time, because I believe that the study of such phenomena will truly expand our understanding of Darwinian evolutionary theory. To achieve these goals, I have been taking an integrative approach to the study of primate behaviour and cognition by adopting multiple proximate-level (e.g., developmental, mechanistic) and ultimate-level (e.g., functional, phylogenetic) perspectives.
I have conducted observational and experimental behavioural research on a variety of captive, semi-free ranging, and wild groups of primates for seventeen years. Some of the specific topics on which I have published include complex social interactions, group movement, innovative and traditional behaviours, social learning, foraging activities, object manipulation, tool-use, object play, manual preference, and mate choice. I employ comparative, longitudinal, experimental, and physiological approaches in my research, that intersect with disciplines such as Psychology, Ethology, Anthropology, Ecology, and Endocrinology.
After a general education in Biology, I earned a M.S. in Neuroscience (1998) and a Ph.D. in Ethology (2002) from the University Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France, under the supervision of Drs. Bernard Thierry and Odile Petit.
In 2010, I was a visiting researcher at the Primate Research Center, Udayana University, Jimbaran, Bali, Indonesia, in collaboration with Dr. I Nengah Wandia.