Statut : enseignant-Chercheur
Équipe de recherche
Eco-ethology and cognitive ethology : Primates non humains et environnement
I am interested in understanding primate socio-ecology in regard to conservation, by comparing behaviour and feeding ecology across the great apes species.
Since 2000 I have been carrying out field research on the feeding ecology of wild western gorillas at Bai Hokou in the Central African Republic (CAR). In total, I have spent three and half years in the forest collecting data on gorilla behaviour for my master thesis (University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Italy), for my PhD in Ecology (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany, and University “La Sapienza”), and for my current research.
I am currently at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, France, for a two year post-doc position awarded by the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). Integrating new with previously collected data, my current research aims to investigate the ontogeny of gorilla food choice, focusing on possible social influences on young individuals when acquiring information about plants and diet. My research integrates direct observations on gorilla behaviour and gorilla health monitoring with laboratory nutritional analysis and phytochemistry of plants consumed by gorillas. This multidisciplinary approach will provide insight to understand if gorillas choose plants also for their medicinal properties in relation to their current health condition, rather than choosing plants only for the nutritional value. I am also interested in comparing the use of forest products between the Ba’Aka pygmies and the gorillas.