About the lab

Featured projects (1)

https://www.mdpi.com/journal/animals/special_issues/animal_cognition_ethology Hardware (as drones or robots) and software (as artificial intelligence and automatic identification) are currently supporting new advances in animal behavior and cognition. These new technologies help us to surpass some limits of traditional approaches by fully tracking animals in their natural environment, or understanding the cognitive capabilities of animals. Additionally, the way of thinking ‘How can I work with this animal?’ helps more and more researchers to consider animal agency in their protocols and training programs, yielding new results on uncommon tested species in captivity or bringing the lab to the field. The purpose of this Special Issue is to highlight (1) how researchers study animals with these new technological devices at their disposal, and (2) how animals can now be enrolled to collaborate with scientists. Data analysis methodologies such as deep learning, random tree forests analyses and information theory are also welcome. All together this should lead to new advances in multiple domains such as cognition, ethology, ecology, conservation and neuroscience. https://www.mdpi.com/journal/animals/special_issues/animal_cognition_ethology

Featured research (24)

Human behavior is influenced by the presence of others, which scientists also call 'the audience effect'. The use of social control to produce more cooperative behaviors may positively influence road use and safety. This study uses an online questionnaire to test how eyes images affect the behavior of pedestrians when crossing a road. Different eyes images of men, women and a child with different facial expressions-neutral, friendly and angry-were presented to participants who were asked what they would feel by looking at these images before crossing a signalized road. Participants completed a questionnaire of 20 questions about pedestrian behaviors (PBQ). The questionnaire was received by 1,447 French participants, 610 of whom answered the entire questionnaire. Seventy-one percent of participants were women, and the mean age was 35 ± 14 years. Eye images give individuals the feeling they are being observed at 33%, feared at 5% and surprised at 26%, and thus seem to indicate mixed results about avoiding crossing at the red light. The expressions shown in the eyes are also an important factor: feelings of being observed increased by about 10-15% whilst feelings of being scared or inhibited increased by about 5% as the expression changed from neutral to friendly to angry. No link was found between the results of our questionnaire and those of the Pedestrian Behavior Questionnaire (PBQ). This study shows that the use of eye images could reduce illegal crossings by pedestrians, and is thus of key interest as a practical road safety tool. However, the effect is limited and how to increase this nudge effect needs further consideration.
Objective The Pedestrian Behaviour Scale (PBS) is a self-report questionnaire that distinguishes five dimensions of pedestrian behaviour: violations, errors, lapses, aggressive behaviours and positive behaviours. This study aimed to meet three objectives: to trace the development of the PBS worldwide from 1997 to 2021, to report on its varied uses and to analyse the scientific validation of the different dimensions of pedestrian behaviour reflected by the PBS and its derivatives. Design/methodology In this systematic literature review, we selected all works that cited the 2013 founding study of the PBS as well as all publications that cited the 2017 US validation of PBS which was frequently replicated around the world. We conducted an online database search using Web of Science, Google Scholar, ResearchGate and PubMed. After excluding duplicates, 116 studies were identified. A total of 30 studies were selected to meet our first two objectives and 14 studies were selected to meet our third objective. Results Over time, the PBS has undergone many changes. Overall, we found differences in the scientific validation of this questionnaire depending on the version used, the validation tests performed and the population studied. The original version of the PBS and its Turkish adaptation proved most appropriate for assessing the transgressions dimension. The American version of the PBS proved a suitable alternative but it is more suited to assessing the two independent dimensions of violations and errors. The Chinese version of the PBS (CPBS) proved unsuitable for assessing the lapses dimension, while the original version of the PBS emerged as the best option for assessing aggressive behaviours. The positive behaviour dimension presented many validation difficulties but its assessment by the CPBS seems to be the most appropriate option. Conclusion As no systematic review of the PBS has been conducted before, researchers can now make an informed choice of methodology quickly and be guided by our recommendations regarding the use and possible improvements of the different validated versions.
Selective harvest, such as poaching, impacts group-living animals directly through mortality of individuals with desirable traits, and indirectly by altering the structure of their social networks. Understanding the relationship between disturbance-induced, structural network changes and group performance in wild animals remains an outstanding problem. To address this problem, we evaluated the immediate effect of disturbance on group sociality in African savanna elephants-an example, group-living species threatened by poaching. Drawing on static association data from ten free-ranging groups, we constructed one empirically based, population-wide network and 100 virtual networks; performed a series of experiments 'poaching' the oldest, socially central or random individuals; and quantified the immediate change in the theoretical indices of network connectivity and efficiency of social diffusion. Although the social networks never broke down, targeted elimination of the socially central conspecifics, regardless of age, decreased network connectivity and efficiency. These findings hint at the need to further study resilience by modeling network reorganization and interaction-mediated socioecological learning, empirical data permitting. The main contribution of our work is in quantifying connectivity together with global efficiency in multiple social networks that feature the sociodemographic diversity likely found in wild elephant populations. The basic design of our simulation makes it adaptable for hypothesis testing about the consequences of anthropogenic disturbance or lethal management on social interactions in a variety of group-living species with limited, real-world data.
Resources that are embedded in social relationships, such as shared knowledge, access to food, services, social support or cooperation, are all examples of social capital. Social capital is recognized as an important age-related mediator of health in humans and fitness-related traits in animals. A rich social capital in humans can slow down senescence and reverse age-related deficits. Some animals are able to adjust their social capital at different life stages (i.e., early, reproductive and post-reproductive life), which may promote individual fitness. However, the underlying biological mechanisms remain unknown. We suggest future research avenues to focus on social capital as a modifiable dimension to gain a better understanding of variations in senescence, and thereby provide new approaches to promote healthy ageing.

Lab head

Cédric Sueur
  • Institut Pluridisciplinaire Hubert Curien (IPHC)
About Cédric Sueur
  • Cédric Sueur is associate Professor (Maître de Conférences) at the University of Strasbourg since 2011. He is mainly working on animal behaviour and specifically on social networking and decision-making in animal groups at the Institut Pluridisciplinaire Hubert Curien. He got the Young Scientist Award from the French Society for the Study of Animal Behaviour in 2013, the Primates Social Impact Award in 2017 and the Adolphe Wetrems award in 2019. He is also fellow of the University of Strasbourg - Institute for Advanced Study and junior member since 2019 of the Institut Universitaire de France (http://www.iufrance.fr)

Members (12)

Sebastian Sosa Orozco
  • University of Strasbourg Institute for Advanced Study
Martin Quque
  • Institut Pluridisciplinaire Hubert Curien
Lison Martinet
  • University of Strasbourg
Maggie Wisniewska
  • Utopia Scientific
Mathilde Jay
  • Institut Pluridisciplinaire Hubert Curien
Benoit Letang
  • University of Strasbourg
Sarah Zanaz
  • Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla
Benjamin Beltzung
Benjamin Beltzung
  • Not confirmed yet

Alumni (29)

Cristian Pasquaretta
  • French National Centre for Scientific Research
Charlotte Canteloup
  • University of Lausanne
Julie Duboscq
Julie Duboscq