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BSc-MSc Thesis and Internship Projects, Wageningen University

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Animal Cooperation: Why do birds help each other?
In some birds species individuals forego own reproduction in order to help others in raising their offspring. Since evolutionary theory predicts selfish behaviour, how can we explain such seemingly selfless behaviour? We catch and ...
Supervisor: Sjouke Anne Kingma
Kat Bebbington
Miriam Kuspiel

Department: Behavioural Ecology
 
Do helpers-at-the-nest reduce the chance of cuckoo parasitism?
One commonly proposed benefit of group living of birds is that individuals in groups are better to prevent cuckoos laying an egg in their nest. However, direct study and evidence of this hypothesis is rare. In Eswatini, we study a ...
Supervisor: Sjouke Anne Kingma
Kat L. Bebbington

Department: Behavioural Ecology
 
Functional Diversity of Birds in the Neotropical Region
BSc and/or MSc thesis. In this project, we will use citizen science data (and potential fieldwork) to investigate aspects of the functional diversity of birds in the Neotropics. The scope of the project will be defined togethe ...
Supervisor: Filipe Cunha & Lysanne Snijders
Department: Behavioural Ecology
 
Functional Diversity of Birds in the Neotropical Region
BSc and/or MSc thesis. In this project, we will use citizen science data (and potential fieldwork) to investigate aspects of the functional diversity of birds in the Neotropics. The scope of the project will be defined togethe ...
Supervisor: Filipe Cunha & Lysanne Snijders
Department: Behavioural Ecology
 
Animal Communication: Neighbourhood effects on singing activity in the great tit (Parus major)
Individuals affect each other in a social network. Yet, the effects individuals have on each other when signalling in a network is not well understood in animal societies. In birds, the decision whether a male sings on a given mor ...
Supervisor: Marc Naguib
Department: Behavioural Ecology
 
Animal cognition: Social effects on cognitive performance. Laboratory based experimental work.
Living in a group can be beneficial as it allows for social learning to facilitate life. Increased competition for food sources and access to mates however can also result in stress, which can negatively affect cognitive performan ...
Supervisor: S�verine Kotrschal
Department: Behavioural Ecology
 
Animal cognition: Testing optimism in fish- a potential welfare project in fish. Laboratory based experimental work.
To assess a person’s level of optimism you may ask whether a glass is half full or half empty. We can ask fish a similar question, by training them to associate either the colour black or white with a food reward and then measure  ...
Supervisor: S�verine Kotrschal
Department: Behavioural Ecology
 
Are bigger groups better care-providers?
Group living can have various benefits: Larger groups might be able to defend larger territories, have better protection from predators, or might have more helpers taking care of the offspring in case of cooperatively breeding spe ...
Supervisor: Miriam Kuspiel
Sjouke A. Kingma
Kat L. Bebbington

Department: Behavioural Ecology
 
Cats consuming natural prey or commercial foods – differences in eating behaviour
Modern foods for pet cats are primarily designed to be safe, tasty and nutritious. The act of eating of such foods (i.e. bites, chews, swallowing) impacts on many aspects, like oral health and appetite regulation. Modern manmade f ...
Supervisor: Bonne Beerda, Guido Bosch
Department: Behavioural Ecology
 
Active and passive anti-predator defence in a cooperatively breeding bird
Group-living can have many benefits, such as better protection from predators. White helmetshrikes, for example, actively mob and attack predators in nest vicinity to protect their brood. Larger groups might thus be better able to ...
Supervisor: Miriam Kuspiel
Sjouke A. Kingma
Kat L. Bebbington

Department: Behavioural Ecology
 
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