• © Universität Bielefeld

Rose Trappes

Doctoral Candidate
Department of Philosophy

Rose Trappes


+49 521 106-4585
Gebäude X A4-232

Doctoral Project

My doctoral project focuses on individuality in behavioural ecology. By looking at what research on individuality is about and how behavioural ecologists talk about individuality, I develop a practice-based account of the concept and its application in concrete research contexts. 

In the process I cover topics from epistemology and metaphysics, including individualized measurement, causal complexity, explanation, uniqueness, identity, and persistence. I also make use of empirical material that I gathered from questionnaires, interviews and participatory research with behavioural ecologists. 

In the end, I plan to show how the idea that biological individuals are unique and persisting informs biologists’ research into individual differences like animal personalities and individual ecological specialization.

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". In addition to the thesis on individuality, I am working with Professor Marie I. Kaiser 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.

Reseach interests

  • Philosophy of biology
  • Metaphysics of science
  • Empirical methods in philosophy
  • Feminist philosophy
  • 20th century French philosophy

Academic positions

  • 2018-present Doctoral student, Bielefeld University, Germany.


  • 2018 MA. Philosophy (Research). Radboud University, The Netherlands.
  • 2015 BA (Hons). Philosophy. University of Queensland, Australia.
  • 2014 BSc. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. University of Queensland, Australia.


For a list of my upcoming publications, check out my personal website.