Hillary Jean-Joseph

PhD student
Contact jean.joseph.hillary@gmail.com
University University of Vienna
Project at the WSC How wolves and dogs see their world: Mental changes during “dogification”
With us since October 2017
Favourite wolf book L’oeil du loup”, Daniel Pennac
Favourite animal at the WSC Etu
Favourite wolf film Les enfants loups, Ame et Yuki

When I was a child, I shouted to whoever wanted to hear it “I want to be a vet!” so during my last year of secondary school I spent one week in a veterinary clinic. During this week, I realized that seeing sick animals was not what I truly wanted. So I changed my mind and thought about a new project: studying animal behaviour.

After high-school, I choose to study animal biology and ecology during my Bachelor and then during my Master I specialized myself in animal behaviour. During this 5 years, I had the opportunity to work on different species: cockroaches, horses, baboons and finally dogs. Obviously, I enjoyed working with all these species but I confess that dogs are my favourites.

 Dogs will always have a special place in my heart. The 6 months spent in England working with them are a wonderful memory and a turning point in my life. Indeed since I entered University I have known that I will continue on this way until the PhD, I was just lacking a topic that will rule my life for at least 3 years. These days in England helped me to figure it out. I did the thing that most supervisors will advise against, I choose to look for a PhD in only one field, animal cognition, and only one model, canids. By a miracle the DK positions came out (I say by a miracle because I had no plan B). I followed my luck, applied for it and since you are reading me, I was selected.

I am truly delighted and proud to say that I am now a PhD student at the WSC. It is the beginning of a dream for me, I will spend my time surrounded by playful dogs and magnificent wolves.