Behavioral Ecology

Nadine Müller

Research interests:

  • I am broadly interested in social relationships and social evolution, trying to understand the “hows and whys” of health and fitness benefits of strong affiliative relationships and social integration. I am particularly interested in the links between sociality, health and physiology and the mechanisms by which social interactions can impact health, e.g. exposure and susceptibility to pathogens. For my Ph.D., I am investigating those links in semi free-ranging Barbary macaques at Affenberg Salem, Southwest Germany, working on the effect of social network position, social relationships and physiology on gastrointestinal parasite infection.

    Working on parasite infections, I also developed a strong interest in host-parasite interactions and disease ecology as well as immunology – and, by extension, health monitoring using non-invasive markers, as for instance neopterin, and a deep scientific curiosity for animal personalities and the physiology of aging, particularly in combination with relationships and health.



Education

  • June 2014 to date: Ph.D. student at the Behavioural Ecology Department, University of Göttingen in the Ph.D. program “Behaviour and Cognition”. Thesis title: Costs and benefits of sociality in semi free-ranging Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus)
    The thesis is part of the DFG research Unit Sociality and Health in Primates (SoHaPi)
  • January to July 2013 & October 2013 to May 2014: Research assistant, Behavioural Ecology Department, University of Göttingen
    Main tasks: Teaching, literature research, participation in writing a grant writing for the DFG research Unit SoHaPi
  • October 2010 to January 2013: Master of Science, Master program “Developmental, Neural and Behavioural Biology”, University of Göttingen
    Master thesis: Influence of MHC-II on mate choice in wild Assamese macaques
  • October 2007 to June 2010: Bachelor of Science, Bachelor program “Humanbiologie” (Biomedical Science), Philips-University Marburg, focus on neurobiology
    Bachelor thesis: “Die Regulation von hTRPV4 durch die intrazelluläre Calciumkonzentration”



Publications



Conference Contributions

  • Müller N (2017) Macaques, sociality and parasites – (How) do social interactions predict parasite infection? 7th European Federation for Primatology (EFP) Meeting, Strasbourg
  • Müller N (2017) Macaques, sociality and parasites – (How) do social interactions predict parasite infection? 35th International Ethological Conference (IEC) & Summer Meeting of the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB), Estoril (Presentation, symposium contribution)
  • Müller at al. (2017) The connection between health, age, and parasite infection in semi-free ranging Barbary macaques at Affenberg Salem. DVG-Tagung der Fachgruppe Parasitologie und parasitäre Erkrankungen, Hannover (Presentation)
  • Müller N (2017) Physiological and social consequences of gastrointestinal parasite infection in semi-free ranging Barbary macaques. 15th Conference of the Gesellschaft für Primatologie (GfP), Zürich (Presentation)
  • Müller N (2016) Effect of experimental antihelmintic treatment on urinary C-peptides in semi free-ranging Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus) at Affenberg Salem, 26th Meeting of the International Primatological Society (IPS), Chicago (Presentation)
  • Müller N (2015) Comparing social networks before and after experimental deworming in Barbary macaques at Affenberg Salem. 14th Conference of the Gesellschaft für Primatologie (GfP), Leipzig (Poster)
  • Müller N (2013) Towards the non-invasive assessment of MHC-genotype in wild primates. 9th Göttinger Freilandtage (GFT) , Göttingen(Poster)
  • Müller N (2013) Towards the non-invasive assessment of MHC-genotype in wild primates. International Conference on Behavior, Physiology and Genetics, Berlin (Poster)