Angela Stöger-Horwath (ASH), Dept. of Cognitive Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna
received her Master in Zoology in 2002, and her PhD (honored with the Doc.Award) in 2006 at the Department of Evolutionary Biology, University of Vienna, Austria. Since 2009 she is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Cognitive Biology where she is head of the Mammal Communication Lab.
Her research aims at understanding both mechanisms and the selective forces that shaped specific signals, skills and communication systems. Her main model species are African and Asian elephants, highly social mammals that combine a capacity for vocal learning with complex cognitive skills. She significantly contributed to the field by demonstrating imitative capacities in both species (Nature 2005/Current Biology 2012). ASH is further interested in the potential evolutionary interconnection of vocal learning with other cognitive skills such as, for example, rhythmic entrainment. Vocal learning and rhythm, crucial for human speech and music, might share a common evolutionary origin, a hypothesis that can be empirically tested in living model species that have convergently evolved vocal learning (e.g. parrots), especially those possessing sound production mechanisms similar to ours (e.g., pinnipeds or elephants). For more information see the website.