My doctoral project focused on individuality in behavioural ecology. By looking at what research on individuality is about and how behavioural ecologists talk about individuality, I developed a practice-based account of the concept and its application in concrete research contexts.
In the process I covered topics from epistemology and metaphysics, including individualized measurement, causal complexity, explanation, uniqueness, identity, and persistence. I also made use of empirical material that I gathered from questionnaires, interviews and participatory research with behavioural ecologists.
The project is part of the collaborative research centre SFB-TRR212 "A Novel Synthesis of Individualisation across Behaviour, Ecology and Evolution: Niche Choice, Niche Conformance, Niche Construction". Together with Professor Marie I. Kaiser, I am working on the nature of biological individuality and individualization, the status of individualized ecological niches, and the individual-level mechanisms of niche choice, construction and conformance.