JollesLab People

Dr Jolle W Jolles
Principal investigator

I am a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Department of Collective Behaviour and the Zukunftskolleg, Institute of Advanced Study, at the University of Konstanz. My research is broadly focused on understanding the fundamental role that individual heterogeneity plays in animal communities and its consequences across social and ecological scales. I use a strongly interdisciplinary approach and combine controlled, automated behavioural experiments with individual-based models and field observations. My PhD work (University of Cambridge, 2016) provides experimental and theoretical evidence for a simple mechanism to explain collective behaviour from phenotypic variation among grouping individuals. With my postdoctoral work I have been pushing for a mechanistic approach to animal behaviour and developed a comprehensive framework that shows how and when individual heterogeneity matters across social and ecological scales. Currently I am working on a range of empirical studies with fish that further explore this topic and unravel its consequences in the context of environmental change.

Current members

Alexander Böhm
MSc student

Hello I am Alexander Böhm (26). I am currently doing my Masters Thesis about the phenotypic and behavioral changes of cavefish to understand the evolution of their troglomorphic lifestyle. My interests lie in the fields of Behavioural Biology and Marine Biology and especially the development of novel tools for empirical research. I do this by implementing different 3D-printing methods as well as using drones and aerial imagery for complex 3D habitat reconstructions. I am currently also developing small custom electronics for recording and logging both animal and environmental data in the field. In my spare time I build and maintain various aquaria and breed my own corals and am very interested in trying to understand the complex biological and environmental interactions necessary in marine reef ecosystems to ensure their survival in the wild and captivity.

Past members

Pauline Ferreira
MSc student

Hello everyone :) ! Like many other people, I really like animals. Therefore, after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in biology (“organisms biology, population, environment”) in France (yes, I’m French!), I took part in many volunteering projects during 6 months, in various safeguarding and reintroduction structures, such as a project in Thailand. Currently, I am a master student in Ethology, animal and human behaviour at the university of Rennes, France. I had the great opportunity to do my first-year internship with Jolle at the University of Konstanz. During my internship I did a mechanistic study of the boldness personality trait and its link to predation risk on three-spined sticklebacks. I had a great time here at Konstanz, I highly recommend it.

Felicitas Oehler
MSc student

I am a Masters student in Biology with the focus on Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Constance. Before, I  did an internship at the Marine Conservation Society Seychelles where I helped with the conservation and rehabilitation of freshwater turtles and sea turtles. The research project “Schooling in the dark” I am conducting in the JollesLab is part of my Master’s degree. Together with Jana, I will analyse the changes of schooling behaviour in sticklebacks under different light intensities, focusing on the dark. I am very happy to gain insights in the working atmosphere in the lab of Jolle Jolles and the Department of Collective Behaviour, and learn how to set up my own project, run experiments, and conduct analyses in R.

Jana Hörsch
MSc student

I am a Master student at the University of Konstanz. During my studies I discovered my fascination for animal behaviour and ecology and developed a particular interest in animal cognition and learning. Therefore, I conducted my Bachelor’s thesis in the Department of Collective Behaviour at the Max Plank Institute for Ornithology looking at group composition and collective problem solving in Zebra Finches. As a part of a master course I decided to do a project with Felicitas under the supervision of Jolle Jolles. Our project is focused on the schooling behaviour of sticklebacks at different light conditions, wondering how they can cope with no visible light available. It is very exciting to work with novel technologies to film and track the fish schools in the dark.

Selin Ersoy
Research intern

My research interests are behavioural ecology, social interactions, cultural behaviour, and cognition. After my BSc I worked as a field assistant for one year at the Kalahari Meerkat Project in South Africa and conducted my own independent analysis project on meerkat behaviour. I then did a MSc on cognitive biology at the University of Vienna under the supervision of Prof. Thomas Bugnyar. I designed and conducted several observational and experimental studies to investigate social behaviour and cognitive abilities of common ravens. I am doing a research internship in Jolle’s group studying predator-prey interactions and the role of phenotypic variation on individual survival in three-spined sticklebacks.

Jonas Bleilevens
MSc student

During the first semester of my Masters, I did a research project as part of the Fish Ecology advanced course supervised by  Jolle Jolles and Jasminca Behrmann-Godel. I was interested in the role of individual behavioural types of three-spined stickleback and their effects on individual learning capabilities. Together with another masters student I set-up an experiment with 60 sticklebacks that we tested on some classic personality assays and association and reversal learning tasks. It was a great experience for me and I learned important new methods that are important to run a solid and controlled behavioural experiment.

Lauren de Wit
MSc student

Hi everyone! My name is Lauren and I am a master student fascinated by animal behaviour. The last six months I had the pleasure of working with Jolle and his three-spined sticklebacks at the University of Konstanz. I studied the effects of individual behavioural tendencies on group learning performance. Different group compositions were tested in a Y-maze to study group learning and reversal learning. I have learned a lot about individual tendencies and group dynamics by observing stickleback behaviour both during experiments and in their housing tanks.

Marc Oliver Ley
BSc student

In my Bachelor’s thesis, we looked at the influences on the predator-prey relationship between Pike and sticklebacks, caused by Schistocephalus solidus, a behaviour altering parasite. I conducted a range of experiments in the lab and investigated how the parasite altered the surival of individual sticklebacks. I found that that the parasite changes the infected sticklebacks behaviour considerably towards a piscivorous predator like the pike. Over the year I had a great experience learning how to run and analyse my own lab experiments.

Students in the lab before 2016

Gentijana Gacaferi – MSc student
Beth Smith – BSc student
Katherine Smith – BSc student
Emily Frapwell – BSc student
Joe Painter -BSc student
Ben Aaron Taylor -BSc student