Nina Stalknecht

November 2016 – End of June 2017
University University of Utrecht, the Netherlands
With us since November 2016
Favourite animal at the WSC All the wolves are amazing, but probably Maikan

Ever since I was a baby I have spent time with dogs, this is what developed my love for animals, which in turn motivated me to study biology. At the beginning of my bachelor study I was not quite sure yet what aspect of Biology interested me the most, but as time went on I learned that animals, and more specifically their behaviour, is what interests me the most. This has led me to choose animal behaviour for my Master study. 

Wolves have always fascinated me and as a result I want to learn more about them. So when, for my Master degree we had to do an internship, I immediately knew that I wanted to work with wolves. At the time I did not care where, as long as there were wolves. After a bit of searching I found the WSC, and became interested in their research and approach to interacting with wolves. So, after also asking my professor if she knew any research centres focussed on wolves and her mentioning the WSC as well, the choice was made. I am very grateful to the WSC staff for letting me do my internship and am very excited to get started. 

For my internship I will be examining the dominance hierarchies and social interactions in the larger packs held at the WSC, under the supervision of Priv. Doz. Dr. Friederike Range. During this project I will be focussing a bit more on the pups which were born earlier this year and have now been added to the packs, to see how the adult wolves interact with the pups and vice versa. I will also be looking at the larger dog pack to see if and how they differ in social interactions from the wolves.

It has only been one week since I arrived here, but I have already experienced some amazing things. The pack visits especially are exciting to attend and I can’t wait for the next one. I am also excited for the experiences still to come during my stay here at the WSC.