Felicity Robinson

Beginn of March - End of July
Contact Flick_r@outlook.com
University Flick_r@outlook.com
Project at the WSC Testing Greeting Ceremony Hypotheses in Wolves and Dogs
Favourite animal at the WSC Hard one, as they all have their quirks, but probably Geronimo and Asali
Favourite howling Aragorn

Three years ago, as part of my Bachelor’s I stumbled across the WSC whilst looking for places to work with wolves. I sent a speculative email to Prof. Kurt Kotrschal asking if it would be possible for me to come to and the rest they say is history.  Those two weeks here got me hooked, and when I finished my Bachelors, I contacted Kurt and asked, can I come back to do my Master’s thesis here. One thing led to another and I ended up applying for the Interdisciplinary Master at the VetMedUni, Vienna. It was the perfect set up, I could attend my lectures and in my free time come to the WSC to help in taking Observations.  The WSC is associated with the Messerli Research Institute (where my master’s is) and it means that as part of my masters course I was able to complete a small project here on Friendship in wolves. Now I am in my fourth semester and I’ve moved into the house to complete my thesis.

One common question I’m asked is why wolves? I honestly don’t know, but I think it has a large part to do with the respect given to wolves by the Native American culture. When I was at school we did Native Americans as a topic in History and I was hooked, unlike a lot of European fairy tales, the Native Americans portray wolves as teachers and something to be revered, and when you are stood in a pack visit face to face, you can understand why. They are big and powerful with huge jaws and large teeth, but they are also playful and cheeky.

I am really looking forward to both my project and spending time standing in front of the enclosures and making observations, as I really think the best was to learn about the social interactions of animals is to simply stand there and watch them.