Friederike Hillemann

Friederike Hillemann


Name: Friederike Hillemann
Position: DPhil candidate (NERC DTP programme)

Short Biography:

I’m a behavioural biologist interested in the evolutionary ecology of social behaviour. I graduated with a B.Sc. in Biology and a M.Sc. in Behavioural Biology from the University of Göttingen, Germany. During my undergraduate studies, I worked as a student research assistant for the German Primate Centre, gaining early experience in studying primate social behaviour. My Bachelor thesis investigated post-conflict behaviour and reconciliation in wild Barbary macaques in The Middle Atlas Mountains, Morocco. After my Bachelor’s programme, I conducted an internship at the Konrad Lorenz Research Station in Austria, where I studied the ability to cope with delayed gratification, considered a cognitive prerequisite for cooperative social behaviour, in captive crows and ravens. My Master’s research focused on crow vocal communication in social contexts and for my dissertation thesis, I used playback experiments to investigate behavioural responses to simulated territorial intrusion in a cooperatively breeding population of Carrion Crows in Northern Spain.

Current Research Activities:

thesis overview FHillemannI joined the EGI through a NERC-funded Doctoral Training Partnership programme in 2015. For my DPhil, I ask how and why individuals from different species interact with each other, and what mechanisms influence group dynamics. While there has been considerable attention given to individual-level mechanisms shaping monospecific groups, this has been largely neglected for mixed-species groups. I combine observational and experimental approaches to study social decision making and the role of social information use in shaping association pattern in mixed-species communities, using mixed-species flocks of songbirds in Wytham Woods as a model system.


Google Scholar profile:

Hillemann F, Cole EF, Keen SC, Sheldon BC, Farine DR. 2019. Diurnal variation in the production of vocal information about food supports a model of social adjustment in wild songbirds. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 286, 20182740. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2018.2740

Wascher CAF, Hillemann F, Canestrari D, Baglione V. 2015. Carrion crows learn to discriminate between calls of reliable and unreliable conspecifics. Animal Cognition, 18, 1181-1185. doi: 10.1007/s10071-015-0879-8

Hillemann F, Bugnyar T, Kotrschal K, Wascher CAF. 2014. Waiting for better, not for more: Corvids respond to quality in two delay maintenance tasks. Animal Behaviour, 90, 1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2014.01.007