Andrea Sommese

December 2014 - April 2015
Project at the WSC Gaze Following Abilities in Wolves and Dogs / Post-conflict Reconciliation in Wolves
With us since December 2014
Favourite wolf book White Fang - Jack London
Favourite animal at the WSC Amarok, Yukon, Geronimo, Hiari and Gombo
Favourite howling Amarok
Favourite wolf film Balto

I am Andrea, 27 (almost 28) years old and I am originally from South Italy, Naples. 

Zoology has always been important in my life and I have always known that I want to work with animals professionally. Actually, to be honest, I decided that I wanted this when I was 4 or 5 years old. I learned fast and well, thanks to my Grandfather, how to nurture this passion. 

As grown up I studied Natural Sciences and wrote my bachelor’s thesis about the ecology of the wolf (Canis lupus) in the Lucanian Appenine Park. During this project, I expanded my knowledge about this fascinating predator. In addition, I learnt a lot about the misconceptions that people form rural country have towards it. I then did a Masters in Ecology and Evolution. During my Master I studied Somalian cave-fish for my research project. This work with fish was a good experience for me and also the first time that I ran a behavioural study on my own. 

I joined the WSC as intern, in December 2014. To be fair, in the first two months I did not have any clear project but thanks to that, I learnt how help other interns and all the trainers. I participated in every ongoing project and I have worked with the animals, discovering how to work with each of them. Later, I started to work on two different projects. The first one aims to investigate the gaze following abilities in wolves; I finished this project a couple of weeks ago and now I am waiting for the results. During this work, I learned how to recognize every wolf and how to use Solomon Coder. I also had the chance to collaborate with another scientist who taught me a lot. My second project is about post-conflict and reconciliation within wolf packs.  Thanks to this, I am spending even more time outside observing the wolves and trying to understand their meaningful way to communicate. 

After five months, I know better the dogs and wolves and I have some favourite… Amarok is the best wolves that we have. He is special. A furry, bity rascal. Amarok is more like the famous Grinch then a wolf and I guess that is why I love him: he could be the grumpiest wolf but also the sweetest. Furthermore, he was the first wolf that I met when I arrived and I immediately fell in love with him. Amarok is simple amazing and he is a pure beauty beyond compare. 

Now I would like to extend my time here and pursue a PhD under the supervision of the amazing scientists that I have met at the WSC. This place is clearly and truly special, but it is not just that: the people here represents the excellence in their field. 

I am very thankful to the Wolf Science Centre for this wonderful experience.