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BSc-MSc Thesis and Internship Projects, Wageningen University

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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: Séverine 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: Séverine 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
 
Dairy cow behaviour studies supported by automated tracking and sensor data
At Dairy campus in Leeuwarden dairy cows are kept in in group housing systems (cubicle houses, free-stalls) and equipped with sensors to monitor their activities and positions. High quality video recordings can be collected and t ...
Supervisor: Bonne Beerda, Wijbrand Ouweltjes
Department: Behavioural Ecology
 
Animal Communication: Songbird vocal communication
Birdsong is among the best studied signalling systems in animals. In most species in the temperate zones, only the males sing, mainly to advertise and defend a territory and to attract a female. Song can reflect a range of differe ...
Supervisor: Marc Naguib
Department: Behavioural Ecology
 
Songbird behaviour: personality traits and social interactions
There exists close collaboration between the BHE chair group and the Netherlands Institute of Ecology in Wageningen (NIOO-KNAW) and this allows students to contribute to ongoing projects with songbirds. Details on the available pr ...
Supervisor: Marc Naguib and Kees van Oers (NIOO-KNAW)
Department: Behavioural Ecology
 
Animal Communication: Breeding behaviour and communication in wild Australian zebra finches
NEW: The project takes place in the Australian outbacks at Fowlers gap Arid Zone Research Station in NSW where a team of researchers and students (from WUR, Macquarie University, Sydney and Hamburg University) studies the ecology  ...
Supervisor: Marc Naguib
Department: Behavioural Ecology
 
Influence of dog-directed parenting styles on the owner-dog relationship and dog welfare
Dog owners may interact with their dogs along so called ‘parenting styles’, but do these really exist in the owner-dog relationship and if so how do these influence the dog and its welfare? Parenting styles are determined by the c ...
Supervisor: Ineke van Herwijnen, Bonne Beerda
Department: Behavioural Ecology
 
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