How anthropogenic factors affect cognitive development of animals and the consequence of such influence are my focus. Particularly, I’m interested in how chronic noise exposure affects vocal learning species like song birds.
- 2015-present: PhD project “how chronic exposure affects cognitive development of zebra finches . Supervisor: dr. K. Riebel, 2nd supervisor Prof. C. ten Cate. Co-promotors: Dr. H. Slabbekoorn
- 2013-2015: MSc Evolution, Biodiversity and Conservation, Leiden University
- 2008-2013: BSc Ecology, Sun Yat-Sen University, China
I am interested in how anthropogenic noise affects acoustic communication and cognition.
Anthropogenic noise is pervasive and invasive worldwide. In the EU alone, the latest official survey estimated that at least 70 million people are permanently exposed to noise levels affecting their wellbeing and health and similar reports are available for North America and Asia. Alarmingly, observational data show an association between noise exposure and cognitive performance in school children.
Not only people but also animals might be affected. Many animals rely on acoustic signals for communicating, avoiding predation and finding mates. Young songbirds need to hear conspecifics sing to learn how to sing themselves. Noise might impair this process but because chronic noise exposure is also hypothesised to be a chronic it could also affect cognitive development. I aim to study both questions, as either will help us to better understand how noise during development affects the development of communication and cognition.