Miss Franca Eichenberger
My main research interests are in sexual selection, evolutionary biology and animal behaviour. During my master’s degree at the University of Zürich in Switzerland I studied biological anthropology, primate behaviour and evolutionary genetics. As a PhD at the University of St Andrews, I now aim to integrate some of the methodological approaches of primatology to address specific research questions in marine mammal science.
The relationship between song characteristics and reproductive success in humpback whales: does song fulfil a sexual function?
The aim of my thesis is to improve our understanding of the complex male mating behaviours in humpback whales, in particular of male song. I will simultaneously address two of Tinbergen’s problems, ‘current utility’ and ‘mechanisms of control’ (Tinbergen, 1963; Bateson and Laland, 2013), through an integrative analysis of behavioural, genetic, endocrine and acoustic data.
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