Honors and Awards
- 2016 Theodor Roemer Award from University of Halle-Wittenberg
- 2015 International Society of Livestock Husbandry (IGN), Research Award
- 2015 Luther Award from University of Halle-Wittenberg
- 2013 Humane Society International, Travel Award
|2010 ‐ 2015||Ph.D., Martin-Luther-University of Halle-Wittenberg ‐ Agricultural Sciences|
|2009||M.Sc., University of Würzburg ‐ Biology|
Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN)
Institute of Behavioural Physiology
Department of Applied Ethology
Recent Works (7)
African Penguins Follow the Gaze Direction of Conspecifics Social Cognition (2017)
Gaze following is widespread among animals. However, the corresponding ultimate functions may vary substantially. Thus, it is important to study previously understudied (or less studied) species to develop a better understanding of the ecological contexts ...
Human Head Orientation and Eye Visibility as Indicators of Attention for Goats (Capra hircus) Social Cognition (2017)
Animals domesticated for working closely with humans (e.g. dogs) have been shown to be remarkable in adjusting their behaviour to human attentional stance. However, there is little evidence for this form of information perception in ...
Individual Personality Differences in Goats Predict Their Performance in Visual Learning and Non-Associative Cognitive Tasks Learning Ability (2017)
Variation in common personality traits, such as boldness or exploration, is often associated with risk–reward trade–offs and behavioural flexibility. To date, only a few studies have examined the effects of consistent behavioural traits on both ...
Goats Learn Socially from Humans in a Spatial Problem-Solving Task Social Cognition (2016)
Domestication drives changes in animal cognition and behaviour. In particular, the capacity of dogs to socially learn from humans is considered a key outcome of how domestication shaped the canid brain. However, systematic evidence for ...
Judgement Bias in Goats (Capra hircus): Investigating the Effects of Human Grooming Emotion (2016)
Animal emotional states can be investigated by evaluating their impact on cognitive processes. In this study, we used a judgement bias paradigm to determine if shortterm positive human-animal interaction (grooming) induced a positive affective state ...
Goats Display Audience-Dependent Human-Directed Gazing Behaviour in a Problem-Solving Task Social Cognition (2016)
Domestication is an important factor driving changes in animal cognition and behaviour. In particular, the capacity of dogs to communicate in a referential and intentional way with humans is considered a key outcome of how ...
Are Domestic Pigs (Sus scrofa domestica) Able to Use Complex Human-Given Cues to Find a Hidden Reward? Social Cognition (2016)
Understanding human-animal interactions in livestock production systems is crucial for improving animal welfare. It is therefore of general interest to investigate how livestock animals obtain information from humans. By using an object-choice paradigm, we investigated ...
Featured Works (2)
Object Permanence in the Dwarf Goat (Capra aegagrus hircus): Perseveration Errors and the Tracking of Complex Movements of Hidden Objects Memory (2015)
Object permanence is the notion that objects continue to exist even when they are out of an observer’s sight. In mammals, the highest stage of object permanence (Stage 6) has been observed only in primates, ...
“Goats That Stare at Men” – Dwarf Goats Alter Their Behaviour in Response to Human Head Orientation But Do Not Spontaneously Use Head Direction as a Cue in a Food-Related Context Social Cognition (2015)
Recently, comparative research on the mechanisms and species-specific adaptive values of attributing attentive states and using communicative cues has gained increased interest, particularly in non-human primates, birds, and dogs. Here, we investigate these phenomena in ...
Research Works (4)
Juvenile Domestic Pigs (Sus scrofa domestica) Use Human-Given Cues in an Object Choice Task Social Cognition (2014)
Research on the comprehension of human-given cues by domesticated as well as non-domesticated species has received considerable attention over the last decade. While several species seem to be capable of utilizing these cues, former work ...
Exclusion Performance in Dwarf Goats (Capra aegagrus hircus) and Sheep (Ovis orientalis aries) Learning Ability (2014)
Using a comparative approach, we investigated the ability of dwarf goats and sheep to use direct and indirect information about the location of a food reward in an object-choice task. Subjects had to choose between ...
Are Juvenile Domestic Pigs (Sus scrofa domestica) Sensitive to the Attentive States of Humans? The Impact of Impulsivity on Choice Behaviour Attention (2013)
Previous studies have shown that apes, dogs and horses seem to be able to attribute attentive states to humans. Subjects chose successfully between two persons: one who was able to see the animal and one ...