Dr. Pauline Zablocki-Thomas: Studying Emotional Reaction in Primates

Hello there! I’m Pauline, a primatology and ethology researcher currently based in my home country of France. My current project focuses on personality and social context in the mouse lemur, the world’s smallest primate. I’ve always been fascinated by primate behavior, particularly animal personality – the unique behavioral patterns that are influenced by an individual’s genes and life experiences, much like in humans.

Recently, I’ve expanded my research into the neuroscience of emotions, studying the titi monkey at the University of California Davis. This monogamous primate displays jealousy reactions when faced with intruders, and I’ve had the exciting opportunity to study the specific neural activations that occur in this context using PET scans. I’m passionate about comparative psychology and am always eager to learn more about our fellow primates and other non-human animals, which can help us better understand ourselves.

Now, onto a fun fact about me: I’m a huge fan of slow-paced hikes, as I love bird watching and discovering cool plants, rocks, and animals to show to my three little kiddos. During our stay in the US, we’ve already seen some incredible sights, including volcanic hot spots, giant sequoias, and flower blooms, as well as encountering moose, otters, bison, and even a grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park! But our ultimate goal is to spot a real wild wolf – fingers crossed we’ll get to see one soon!