I investigate vocal communication in non-humans. By comparing evidence from birds, primates and other living creatures, my goal is to obtain a comprehensive understanding of what it means to communicate vocally. Why do certain acoustic features appear in some systems and not in others? What cognitive abilities underpin production and reception of different vocal signals? What precursors did human language evolve from? These are some of the questions that interest me most.
My PhD in Evolutionary Biology at the University of Zurich principally focuses on the vocal communication system of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). I am currently implementing a multimodal approach to this topic, by examining the complementary role of vocal and visual cues during communicative events. I am analyzing observational data collected at the Kibale Chimpanzee Project, Kanyawara field site in Uganda. I am supervised by Simon Townsend and I am part of the NCCR Evolving Language.