Sylvain Palma Jacinto

January 2016 - June 2016

was born and raised in a small town in France, La Riche, next to the city of Tours where I study biology. Since I was a little kid, I have always been fascinated by animals and nature in general. I spent a lot of time to read all the books and watch all the documentaries I could find about animals and their way of life. That is when I discovered my passion for large carnivores, and more specifically for large carnivores who have social abilities. But after all this time, no animal intrigued me more than the wolf. First, wolves are beautiful with their penetrating gaze, their dense fur, their bewitching elegance. But I think the more interesting things that we can learn about wolves concern their behaviours ! This is why I chose to study in Tours in the Master of behavioural ecology, evolution and biodiversity. This Master allowed me to acquire knowledge on animal behaviours according different axes like their evolutionary origins and their fitness.

 In order to finish my Master and get my degree, I started to look for an internship about wolves behaviour and, more broadly, large carnivores behaviour. My teachers told me that it was a really specific research field and that there was little chance for finding what I was looking for. By chance, I didn't had to wait for a long time because Friederike Range responded quickly to my mail and, after a few more mails, I received the good news !

 My project at the WSC is to study the prosocial behaviours of wolves and dogs using a touchscreen. Such studies have been conducted on non-human primates to try to elucidate the question of the evolutionary origins of this kind of behaviours, but the results remain unclear and no clear conclusion can be drawn.

 I have been here for a week, so I'm just discovering the park ! But I have already spotted that wolves and dogs here have strong and unique personalities that remain for me to discover !