I am a behavioural ecologist studying the evolution of social relationships. Animals in a wide variety of species form a few close bonds, akin to friendships, with some of their group members. With my research, I aim to understand how forming social bonds impacts individual survival and reproduction, and what drives partner choice in the formation of these bonds.
I am currently a postdoctoral researcher with Lauren Brent at the Center for Research in Animal Behaviour (CRAB) of the University of Exeter (UK). I am part of FriendOrigins, an ERC Consolidator funded project (864461), aimed at understanding the evolutionary origins of friendship. I take a cross-species comparative approach to test how socio-ecological factors, like predation and competition, shape social relationships. I have recently co-led the foundation of MacaqueNet, a global collaborative network of macaque researchers, though which I've build a collaborative dataset with decades of data on over ten species of macaques. Studying social relationships in these species, with varying social systems and ecological pressures, we can explicitly address the question of which types of social relationships are adaptive, and why.