former PhD students
Elisa Chiarati
Rubén Vera Gómez
Diana Bolopo

Masters StudentsCollaboratorsChristian Rutz
Mark Johnson
Marta Vila Taboada
Claudia Wascher










Claudia Wascher

First degree:
Biology (University Graz, Austria)
Zoology (University of Vienna, Austria)
Post Doctoral positions:

Post Doctoral Researcher (University of Vienna, Austria; University of Strasbourg, France; NTNU Trondheim, Norway)
Current position:
Post Doctoral Researcher
(University of Valladolid, Spain)



Claudia Wascher


Research Interests and Main Results

My main research interest is how social and cognitive factors modulate cooperative behaviour.
In 2007 I established a group of captive carrion crows at the Konrad Lorenz research station in Austria and performed a series of experimental tests on cognitive prerequisites of cooperation.
I could show crows to be able to deal with extended delays in order to optimize the quality of a food reward (exchange low quality against high quality food).
In contrast, they could not wait to exchange one piece of food against a higher quantity of food. Furthermore, carrion crows have been shown to respond behaviourally to inequity in reward distribution and working effort.
This previously has only been shown in primates and dogs, but not birds.

In the next two years, I plan to compare performance in cognitive tasks between non-cooperatively breeding crows in Austria and cooperatively breeding crows in Spain.



Wascher C.A.F. & Bugnyar T. Awareness to inequity and working effort in carrion crows (Corvus corone corone) and common ravens (Corvus corax). Subm.

Wascher C.A.F., Bauer A.C., Holtmann A.R. & Kotrschal K. 2012. Environmental and social factors affecting excretion of intestinal parasite eggs and oocysts in a flock of free-living greylag geese (Anser anser). Behavioral Ecology, 23 (6): 1276-1283.

Wascher C.A.F., Dufour V. & Bugnyar T. 2012. Carrion crows cannot overcome impulsive choice in a quantitative exchange task. Frontiers in Comparative Psychology, 3: 118. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00118

Wascher C.A.F., Szipl G., Boeckle M. & Wilkinson A. 2012. You sound familiar- Carrion crows can differentiate between the calls of known and unknown heterospecifics. Animal Cognition, 15: 1015-1019.

Wascher C.A.F., Weiß B.M., Arnold W. & Kotrschal K. 2012. Physiological implications of pair-bond status in greylag geese. Biology Letters, 8: 347-350.

Dufour V., Wascher C.A.F., Braun A., Miller R. & Bugnyar T.
2012. Corvids can decide if a future transaction is worth waiting for. Biology Letters, 8: 201-204.

Wascher C.A.F., Scheiber I .B.R., Braun A.  & Kotrschal K. 2011. Heart rate responses to induced challenge situations in greylag geese (Anser anser). Journal of Comparative Psychology, 125 (1): 116-119.

Wascher C.A.F., Fraser O.N. & Kotrschal K.
2010. Heart rate during conflicts predicts post-conflict stress-related behavior in greylag geese. PloS ONE, 5 (12): e15751.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0015751

Kralj-Fiser S., Scheiber I.B.R., Kotrschal K., Weiß B.M. & Wascher C.A.F. 2010. Glucocorticoids enhance and suppress heart rate and behaviour in time dependent manner in greylag geese (Anser anser). Physiology & Behavior, 100: 394-400.

Wascher C.A.F., Scheiber I .B.R., Weiß B.M. & Kotrschal K. 2009. Heart rate responses to agonistic encounters in greylag geese (Anser anser). Animal Behaviour, 77: 955-961.

Scheiber I.B.R., Weiß B.M., Hirschenhauser K., Wascher C.A.F., Nedelcu I.T. & Kotrschal K. 2008. Does ‚relationship intelligence’ make big brains in birds? The Open Biology Journal, 1: 6-8.

Wascher C.A.F., Arnold W. & Kotrschal K. 2008. Heart rate modulation by social contexts in Greylag geese (Anser anser). Journal of Comparative Psychology, 122 (1): 100-107.

Wascher C.A.F., Scheiber I.B.R. & Kotrschal K. 2008. Heart rate modulationin bystanding geese watching social and non-social events. Proceedings of the Royal Society London, Series B, 275: 1653-1659.
Book chapter
Wascher C.A.F. & Kotrschal K. Social life is costly. Heart rate in greylag geese.
In press.