Welcome to our new PhD students

We welcome our new PhD students for this academic year who have started this September!

We wish them every success with their projects and look forward to hearing more about their research soon. Below is a quick introduction to each of them.

Welcome to Lincoln!

Cátia Caerio (supervised by Kun Guo), will work on “Inter-species emotional understanding across life span
”. This project will investigate human-dog interactions, focusing on how behavioural cues (visual and auditory) are used to express and perceive emotions in both species. Additionally, it will examine the effect of aging on emotion perception, using a comparative approach.

Janine Just (supervised by Kerstin Meints), will work on “Assessing the predictive value of the UK-CDI for early identification of developmental language delay”. The UK-Communicative Development Inventory (Words and Gestures) is a parental report questionnaire of infant’s early communication and their family background information which has lead to the first UK language norms for children between 8-18 months. This project aims to assess the predictive value of the UK-CDI for early identification of developmental language delay.

Marcus Harrington (supervised by Simon Durrant), will work on “Emotional Memory Consolidation during REM sleep as a causal factor in depression”. The majority of clinically depressed patients exhibit abnormal sleep architecture, characterised most readily by an increase in REM sleep; a sleep stage thought to be associated with the consolidation of negatively toned emotional memories. During this project I will explore the possibility that the sleep- consolidation-depression relationship is causal, in the interest of improving the way in which we understand depression aetiology. Given that depression is heritable, genotypic variations will also be considered when examining this relationship.

Laura Martinez Inigo (supervised by Bonaventura Majolo), will work on “Genetic relatedness and social complexity in the Barbary macaque (Macaca sylvanus)”. In many group-living species individuals can establish strong social bonds with some group members and compete with others and/or with individuals from other groups, similarly to what is observed in human societies. Competition between groups and warfare are hypothesised to be two factors that have had a significant effect on the evolution of intra-group social bonds, altruism and parochialism in humans. At present, it is not known if this hypothesis only applies to humans or if it has its evolutionary roots in other primate species. This project aims to analyse the effect that kinship and ecological factors (e.g. food distribution) play on intra- and inter-group processes in wild Barbary macaques.

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