I am behavioural ecologist finishing my PhD at the University of Konstanz, Germany. Since 2016, I am based at the Department of Collective Behaviour of the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior.
I am also a fellow of the International Max Planck Research School for Organismal Biology and a scholarship holder of the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD, the German Academic Exchange Service). My academic background includes an M.Sc. in Entomology from the Federal University of Viçosa (Brazil) and both a B.Sc. and Licenciatura degree in Biological Sciences from the PUC Minas (Brazil, 2009).
Before joining the Couzin Lab and the Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour (below), I had theoretical and practical experience with (i) systematics and ecology of spiders, (ii) integrated pest management, (iii) applied biological control, and (iv) behavioural ecology of termites. Between BSc. and MSc. (2012), I attended the MAST International Program at the University of Minnesota, U.S., and worked at Glades Crop Care Inc. as a crop consultant assistant.
Currently, my research focuses on understanding the underlying mechanisms of individual and collective behaviour in socially complex organisms. Specifically, for my doctoral work am interested in the functioning and evolution of both individual- and group-level behaviours observed among animal collectives.
To do so, I use Neotropical termite species as biological models and develop an empirical framework combining laboratory and field experiments conducted in the Brazilian Cerrado. Once back in Germany after fieldwork in the tropics, I use analytical tools and mathematical modeling to reveal factors governing individual and group movement decisions, as to understand how they scale up producing the collective patterns we observe in the wild.
Constrictotermes cyphergaster is a Neotropical termite that builds typical arboreal nests (above) and is widespread throughout South America. The species exhibit nocturnal foraging habits and diet mostly based on lichens and tree bark. More recently, due to its close association with some nest invaders (e.g. Inquilinitermes microcerus and Inquilinitermes fur), this termite species has drawn some attention, being investigated in a number of studies.