Armin seeks to understand the nervous system computations underlying animal decision-making. His work focuses on the larval zebrafish, a small and almost perfectly translucent vertebrate with a brain similar to ours. Zebrafish have a rich and innately present behavioral repertoire and are amenable to genetic modifications. These features allow Armin’s group to combine precise tracking experiments, cognitive algorithmic modeling, whole-brain activity imaging, genomic sequencing, and targeted circuit manipulations, to in detail dissect the neural basis of decision-making.
My research aims at understanding the evolution of family living, as well cooperation among unrelated individuals. I rely on my long-term study system, the Siberian jay, which we study in Swedish Lapland, 80km south of Arctic Circle. In addition, I am interested in questions relating to language like adaptations (call meaning, syntax).
Damien studies the evolutionary ecology of social and collective behaviour in wild vertebrates. He graduated with degrees in Microelectronic Engineering and Computer Science. His first job was making steel, which was followed by a research position at the CSIRO (Australia) investigating the potential role of bioenergy and biofuels in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Damien joined the Edward Grey Institute of Field Ornithology (EGI) at the University of Oxford as a DPhil student in 2010.