Episode 102- Modern-day 'Dr. Doolittle’ Élodie Briefer Aims to Understand Animals

Rik's Mind Podcast show

Summary: Do you wish that you could understand your dog or your cat? Dr. Élodie F. Briefer PhD. is out to find out what the animals are saying to each other and us. Dr. Briefer is an associate professor of Ecology and Evolution as well as the principal investigator of the Behavioral Ecology Group of the University of Copenhagen (Københavns Universitet). A modern-day ‘Dr. Doolittle’, Dr. Briefer’s primary research interests are cognition and vocal communication in mammals and birds. The main aims of her research are understanding how animals use vocal signals to encode information about their identity (e.g. species, group, individual identity), their quality (e.g. body size, dominance status, age) and their affective states (emotions, mood), as well as the impact of such information on conspecifics. The ultimate goal of this research is to be able to create a universal translator that would allow humans to truly communicate with our animal brethren. You can learn more about Dr. Briefer and her group’s research on the Behavioral Ecology Group and on Dr. Briefer’s Twitter @elodiebriefer . Show Notes: The Behavioural Ecology Group | Københavns Universitet Dr. Elodie Floriane Mandel-Briefer | Department of Biology, Københavns Universitet The case for speaking politely to animals | University of Copenhagen Marchant-Forde JN (2015) The science of animal behavior and welfare: challenges, opportunities, and global perspective. Front. Vet. Sci. 2:16. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2015.00016 | Frontiers in Veterinary Science Skylark | Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Maigrot, AL., Hillmann, E. & Briefer, E.F. Cross-species discrimination of vocal expression of emotional valence by Equidae and Suidae. BMC Biol 20, 106 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12915-022-01311-5 | BMC Biology RAVENS ARE SMARTER THAN HUMAN CHILDREN | Inverse Ravens parallel great apes in flexible planning for tool-use and bartering | Science A Cephalopod Has Passed a Cognitive Test Designed For Human Children | Science Alert Pig Transformation – Why Pigs Become Feral | Farm Animal Report A review of the social behaviour of the giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis: a misunderstood but socially complex species, Muller and Harris | Mammal Review, Wiley Online Library