About me

I am a behavioural ecologist interested in understanding the reciprocal relationships between individual and social behavior, the evolutionary mechanisms maintaining within-species variation in behavior and cognition, particularly in the context of current human-induced rapid environmental changes.

My research focuses on the influence of behavioural and cognitive characteristics in the successful establishment and permanence in human-altered environments. Specifically, I study:

  • the role of individual cognitive and behavioral phenotype in social dynamics, in relation to information transmission, social learning, and reproductive decisions;
  • the evolutionary mechanisms driving the emergence of novel behavioural skills (animal innovation);
  • how variations in different aspects of the innovation process affect the selective environment of an individual or a population, particularly regarding the diffusion of novel behaviours along social networks;
  • the role of behaviour and cognition in coping with the challenges of novel environments, exploiting current biological invasions and urbanization as “large-scale experiments”.

My research involves long-term field studies in Germany and Italy, and controlled experiments under natural, semi-natural and laboratory conditions.

I currently work as a Senior Lecturer in the Department for Ecological and Biological Sciences at University of Tuscia, and as a guest researcher in the Animal Ecology group at the University of Potsdam.



© 2024 Valeria Mazza. All right reserved.