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Alex Munteanu, DK candidate

I studied veterinary medicine at the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. I conducted my diploma thesis looking at the social context of contact calls in rooks at the Sub-department of Animal Behaviour, University of Cambridge, UK under the supervision of Profs. Dr. Nicola S. Clayton, Dr. Nathan J. Emery & Dr. Ira G. Federspiel. I continued with two research projects, first one testing ravens in a string-pulling experiment at the Konrad Lorenz Research Station in Grünau, Austria, supervised by Prof. Dr. Thomas Bugnyar, and the second involving mirror self-recognition in jackdaws, at the Leutstetten Research Station, Germany, supervised by Dr. Auguste von Bayern. In 2010 I have helped set-up the aviary complex and later conducted a pilot study on the dynamics of stress in ravens supervised by Prof. Dr. Thomas Bugnyar) at the Haidlhof Research Station, Bad Vöslau, Austria.


My research focuses on investigating the emotional basis of ravens’ social relations, namely the role that emotions play in enhancing the either affiliative or agonistic interactions between individuals. We correlate behavioural observations from everyday life with physiological determinations (hormonal analyses), comparing these results with the ones from short-term stress-inducing experiments. In this frame I am currently looking at how fission-fusion dynamics (manipulations in group size and composition) influence the quality of relationships within the group network. I also plan on determining the empathic potential by using video presentations of interactions between ravens as a trigger for emotional decoding. As a vet by training, I am also monitoring the health status of the captive ravens at the Haidlhof Research Station. alexandru.munteanu at univie.ac.at


14.-21.08.2011, The Wellcome Trust School on Biology of Social Cognition, Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK. Poster: Conflict management strategies during temporal subgroup formation in ravens (Corvus corax)


12.-16.09.2011, Lund University Corvid Cognition Station: visit, experience exchange and transport of captive ravens to Haidlhof


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