During my studies of biology, I developed a broad interest for socio-endocrinology and its evolutionary significance in the regulation of cooperative behaviors in mammals.
In my PhD project, I specifically focus on the neurohormone oxytocin and its role in the proximate regulation of affiliative and prosocial behaviors in common marmosets. I thereby try to explain individual variation in these behaviors, by investigating oxytocin effects and the influence of social factors, such as the sex or status of an individual and the presence or absence of dependent offspring in a group. Additionally, I try to embed my findings in a broader picture on bonding and dyadic relationship patterns in marmosets. Based on the assumption that callitrichid monkeys (including marmosets) and humans share a convergent evolution of cooperative breeding and monogamy, I finally hope to contribute to the understanding of unique sociality and cooperation in humans.