Sarah Marshall-Pescini, PhD, Priv.-Doz.

Konrad-Lorenz-Institut für Vergleichende Verhaltensforschung
AG Domestikation
Department für Integrative Biologie und Evolution
Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
Dörfles 48
A-2115 Ernstbrunn

T +43 (1) 25077 0
E-Mail an Sarah Marshall senden

 

Research

My research is focused on social behaviour and cognition. I started initially with investigating mechanisms relating to social learning in various primates (baboons, macacques and chimpanzees), and later turned my attention to dogs.
Since working at the Wolf Science, I have been particularly interested in comparing wolves' and dogs' social behaviour with conspecifics, and investigating what factors may be driving the difference we have observed. To better understand these aspects I have been particularly keen to expand our studies to free-living dogs and wolves in various locations (Italy and Marocco in particular).

Current Projects

  • 2016-2020: Principle investigator (with Prof. Range 1 & Dr. Deschner): A new look at domestication: the role of oxytocin in wolves’ and dogs’ social relationships with conspecific and human partners. WWTF- Vienna Science and Technology Fund (CS15-018) (€ 600.000)
  • 2016-2019 with Martina Lazzaroni and Prof. Range 1 ‘The effect of human socialization on problem solving abilities of canines; are dogs socially more dependent than wolves?’ Austrian Academy of Sciences  2(€ 112.000)
  • 2012-2014 with Dr. Cafazzo, Prof. Range 1 & Dr. Viranyi, Wolf Science Centre (WSC), Vienna ‘Peace-making and conflict management in wolves and domestic dogs’. FWF- Meitner Programme -Project nr. BM1400-B19 (€ 160.000).

Teaching

Since joining the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna I have been teaching classes in the 'Animal Behaviour', 'Canine Evolution, Behavior and Cognition' and 'Into Science' courses, in the framework of the MA in IMHAI.

Curriculum Vitae

Public outreach and Education

Most of my outreach work has been in presenting our work at workshops and/or conference for dog trainers/workers in Italy. I normally attend between 2 and 4 of such events each year.

Education and Qualifications

2018

Habilitation Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna

2017

Italian State Habilitation for the Associate Professor, in Comparative Psychology and Zoology.

This is a peer-reviewed process which allows successful candidate to subsequently apply for relevant positions at Italian University in the ‘habilitated’ disciplines.

2005-2008

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Psychobiology, University of Milan, Milan, Italy. “Relational and Environmental factors affecting pet dogs’ performance in socio-cognitive tasks”.
Supervised by Professor Prato-Previde, Biomedical Sciences and Technology Department, University of Milan.

1999-2003

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Psychology, University of St. Andrews, Scotland, U.K.

“Observational Learning in Chimpanzees using Naturalistic Experimental tasks." The research project was carried out on Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary, Uganda.

Supervised by Professor Whiten, School of Psychology, St. Andrews University.

1994-1998

Master of Arts (MA), Psychology University of St. Andrews, Scotland, U.K.

Thesis title: “Social learning and imitation in captive stump-tail macaques” (Professor Whiten)
First class distinction obtained for the dissertation.

Positions

2018–present

Senior scientist Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria

2013-2017

Senior Post-doctoral scientist, Comparative Cognition, Messerli Research Institute, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Medical University of Vienna, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria, Wolf Science Centre, Ernstbrunn, Austria, March ERC Funded research- CanCoop: principle investigator Friederike Range PhD ERC Grant Agreement n. [311870]
Supervision and development of novel research paradigms for the investigation of cooperation, prosociality and inequity aversion and the underlying emotional, physiological and cognitive mechanisms in wolves, pack dogs and pet dogs.

2010-2013

Post-doctoral grant ("assegno di ricerca"), University of Milan, Biomedical Sciences and Technology Department. Co-founder of a Dog Cognition Lab of the University of Milan. Funded by a Post-doctoral fellowship I obtained from the University of Milan.

Project involving social cognition in dogs and human infants.
Supervision of PhD, and Master students, on social cognition projects at the Lab
Lab management

Publications

Publikationen 3