Department of Biology
Stewart Biology Building
1205 av. Docteur Penfield
Montréal, Qc, Canada
What I study, in general
Social learning is any learning that is facilitated by the observation of, or interaction with another animal or its products. It is used as an alternative or as a supplement to asocial learning (or learning that occurs without any interaction), when it might be difficult to obtain, outdated, unreliable, and for various other reasons! Social learning occurs in species form all taxa, and provides many advantages. It is suggested to be the mechanism underlying culture. I am generally interested in how social learning is used by animals, and I specifically focus my work on fish.
I currently study intraspecific differences in social learning in the Trinidadian guppy, Poecilia reticulata in Simon Reader's lab at McGill University. My interest is in how early social environment affects the way an individual weighs social versus private information in learning tasks, and if each individual display consistent tendencies in such information use. I am also interested in how social learning differs between populations of wild guppies varying in their native habitats.
The Reader Lab
I completed my Masters degree in Kevin Laland's lab, at the University of St. Andrews, where I studied public information use by ninespine sticklebacks, Pungitius pungitius. I specifically created computer-animated stimuli in Blender to identify behavioural cues used by fish to collect public information. 3D animations are a novel and versatile tool in the study of animal behaviour, that allows researchers to accurately isolate and control the demonstrators' actions.
The Laland Lab
University of St. Andrews
Don't hesitate to contact me if you want to know more about my research, and computer-animated stimuli!