After conducting my PhD in the field of comparative developmental psychology examining the mechanisms of social learning in dogs and infants, I currently investigate the flexibility of adult phenotypes. In particular, I’m interested in behavioural plasticity in the context of reproduction. Behavioural plasticity allows individuals to maximize fitness in changing environments by adjusting their behaviour to local environmental conditions.
Social interactions are an important characteristic in competition for matings. Individuals often assess the local situation before decide whether to fully commit to the local mating competition or move elsewhere. A flexible behavioural response can enable individuals to make optimal decisions and I’m interested in understanding the decision rules that govern this flexibility. Often, (temporary) cooperation is a better option than fighting and will yield higher fitness returns. I try to understand the dynamics of cooperation and competition in lekking Ruffs (Philomachus pugnax) particularly the dynamics of the Satellite-Resident co-display.
Successful reproduction often requires considerable effort by the parents after the mating fun is long over. Charadrius plovers show extraordinary variation in who cares for the young and how long care is provided. This behaviour is extremely plastic: the same parent may care in one occasion and desert the family in another. Using data from dozens of populations and species I try to find common variables that explain whether one or two parents care for the chicks and how long the deserting parent provides care.
Since 2017 Postdoctoral Researcher, Behavioural Genetics and Evolutionary Ecology Research Group, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology
2010 – 2017 Maternity leave
2010 Research Assistant (OTKA Project), Ethology Department, Eötvös Loránd University, Comparative Behaviour Research Group, Budapest
2008 – 2010 Research Assistant (OTKA Project), Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Comparative Behaviour Research Group, Budapest
2005 – 2008 Research Assistant (EDICI Project), Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Developmental Psychology Research Group, Budapest
2005 – 2014 PhD, Ethology. Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest
2000 – 2005 M.Sc, Biology, Ecology. Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest.