Yaëlle Bouquet

Research interest

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Audience effect in wild olive baboons (Papio anubis)


My PhD will explore the evolutionary origins of audience-aware communication (audience effect) by investing how olive baboons take the others into account during the act of communication.

I will expose olive baboons to various natural situations that necessitate communication: maintaining relationships, resolving social conflict, discovering food, and dealing with predators. Each olive baboon’s communication behaviour will first be studied systematically, using standard behavioural observation protocols. Once the basic patterns are described, systematic field experiments will be carried out. In brief, a first manipulation is to artificially simulate the call eliciting event, for example by positioning food or a predator model. A second manipulation then is to artificially alter the audience composition, by simulating the arrival of different types of group members. These experiments will provide systematic comparative information on how olive baboons respond to similar events and how signallers allocate their communication efforts in the presence of others.

This project is supervised by the Professor Klaus Zuberbühler and is part of the Gashaka Primate Project.
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Yaëlle Bouquet