Alexandra Mutwill

PhD Student
© WWU - MGSE

Institute of Neuro and Behavioural Biology
Department of Behavioural Biology
Badestraße 13
D-48149 Münster
Tel.: +49 251/83-21004
a.mutwill@uni-muenster.de

Nationality: GermanDe

Education

  • since 2015:
    PhD in the Department of Behavioural Biology, University of Münster, Germany
  • 2012 - 2015:
    Studies in Biology (M.Sc.), University of Münster, Germany
    Master Thesis: "Individual stability during adolescence? A study on cortisol responsiveness and behaviour during reunion in male guinea pigs", Department of Behavioural Biology
  • 2009 - 2012:
    Studies of Biology (B.Sc.), University of Münster, Germany
    Bachelor Thesis: "The influence of handling on cognitive ability and cortisol response in female guinea pigs", Department of Behavioural Biology

Supervisors

  • Prof. Dr. Norbert Sachser, Institute of Neuro- and Behavioural Biology, Department of Behavioural Biology, University of Münster
  • Prof. Dr. Oliver Krüger, Department of Animal Behaviour, University of Bielefeld
  • Prof. Dr. Sylvia Kaiser, Institute of Neuro- and Behavioural Biology, Department of Behavioural Biology, University of Münster

Research interests

  • Animal Behaviour
  • Neuroendocrinology
  • Behavioural Ecology

PhD Project description

The effects of social niche specialisation and transition on biobehavioural profile and fitness

The effect of the social environment on biobehavioural profiles during adolescence has already been demonstrated in male guinea pigs. In my work now the phase of early adulthood is put into focus, during which individuals can find themselves in different social niches. They can live under high or low population densities, can fill high or low ranking positions, and transitions from one social niche to another can occur. The aim of my PhD project is to investigate how biobehavioural profiles and fitness are affected by the individual social niche specialisation in early adulthood and whether those parameters are adjusted after transition from one social niche to another.

Publications

  • Mutwill AM, Zimmermann TD, Hennicke A, Richter SH, Kaiser S, Sachser N (2020) Adaptive reshaping of the hormonal phenotype after social niche transition in adulthood. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 287:20200667. 10.1098/rspb.2020.0667 [doi]
  • Mutwill AM, Zimmermann TD, Reuland C, Fuchs S, Kunert J, Richter SH, Kaiser S, Sachser N (2019) High Reproductive Success Despite Queuing - Socio-Sexual Development of Males in a Complex Social Environment. Frontiers in Psychology 10:2810. 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02810 [doi]
  • Willen RM, Mutwill A, MacDonald LJ, Schiml PA & Hennessy MB (2017) Factors determining the effects of human interaction on the cortisol levels of shelter dogs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 186:41-48. 10.1016/j.applanim.2016.11.002 [doi]