Francesca Santostefano

Francesca is interested in how social interactions among animals shape their behaviours and fitness. After completing her university studies in Padua, Italy, she moved to Germany where she earned a PhD between the Max-Planck-Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen, and the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich. Her project focused on the consequences of social interactions on the evolution of individual differences in behaviour in Field crickets, bridging the fields of behavioural ecology and quantitative genetics. She then won a DFG post-doctoral fellowship for a two-years project at the Université du Québec à Montréal, which gave her the chance to move from a lab study to a field study. This project addressed how phenotypes of conspecifics affect an individual’s fitness (social selection), in a wild population of Eastern chipmunks. She spent the return phase of this fellowship working with Damien’s group.