Dr. Matthias-Claudio Loretto

Guest Scientist

Main Focus

I am a behavioural biologist with a main focus on movement ecology. What are the causes and consequences of animal movement? How does the social and physical environment affect individual movement decisions and population differences? In particular, I am interested in avian scavengers that have adapted to use ephemeral and unpredictable food sources. These variable conditions have led to the evolution of different search strategies, mechanisms of orientation, use of spatial memory, and transfer of social information between individuals of one or several species.

In my current project I study these questions in the predator-scavenger system of wolves and ravens in Yellowstone National Park. Previous research has shown that ravens frequently associate with wolves and often feed from their kills. It has been hypothesised that ravens even follow wolves to better exploit their kill sites during winter. In collaboration with the Yellowstone Wolf Project, a long-term tracking and monitoring program, I equipped 60 ravens with GPS-tags to study their movements in relation to the movements of GPS-collared wolves and pumas in the same area, as well as in relation to anthropogenic food sources.

Curriculum Vitae

Jun. 2019 - present: Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior
Nov. 2016 - Mar. 2019: Postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Cognitive Biology and the Konrad Lorenz Research Station, both University of Vienna, Austria
Feb.-Jul. 2018: Postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Wildlife Biology and Game Management, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria
2011 - 2016: PhD in Biology at the Department of Cognitive Biology, University of Vienna, Austria. Thesis: “Movement ecology of wild non-breeding ravens”
2007 - 2010: MSc in Wildlife Ecology and Wildlife Management, at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Austria
2002 - 2006: BSc in Animal Behaviour, University of Graz, Austria

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