Judith Zembrot

November 2015 - March 2016
Contact j.zembrot@teleos-web.de
University University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover
Project at the WSC Negotiation of Rewards
Favourite howling Wamblee

I study veterinary medicine in Germany. At the moment, I am taking a break to have the opportunity to do an internship at the WSC. Studying veterinary medicine means to spend a lot of time with your nose in the books. And after having managed to finish my Physikum, I decided to do something practical again.

Actually I prefer cats over dogs. But cats are loner and it is not possible to train a cat like a dog. So it was really complicated to find a research institution with big cats. That is the reason why I ended up at the WSC. The WSC is one of the only institutions where they are doing research on the domestication process between wolfs and dogs. Besides, it is a good opportunity for me to learn more about animal behavior. Something I would like to study as well.

But what exactly am I doing here? My project is about fairness and equality in packs. Are wolves able to solve a task even if they don't get rewards of the same quality? Is it equal or normal for them that the dominant animal gets the higher valued food reward? And will the subordinate accept this? I am looking forward to see the results.

Since I am at the WSC, I really have to rethink my point of view about dogs. Maybe I’ll start to prefer dogs over cats. I am really fascinated by dogs and wolves. Wolves are a cooperative species, but they are also using aggression to solve conflicts sometimes. It seems like every pack member is fine with that. I could spend hours watching a wolf pack. It is really interesting to see how they are living friendly together, showing aggression without actually hurting each other.

In summary, you could say that I enjoy every second at the WSC and that I am looking forward to the next 4 months.