Helder Hugo

IMPRS Doctoral Student
Department Couzin
MPI of Animal Behavior
University of Konstanz
+49 7531 88-5165

Main Focus

Currently, Helder Hugo's doctoral research focuses on understanding underlying mechanisms of species coexistence and conflict management. Specifically, he is interested in why and how organisms - sometimes remarkably different from each other - are able to cohabit locally restricted places and deal with eventual conflicts.

In order to explore behavioral dynamics of cohabitation strategies, Helder is currently using a biological model composed by two Neotropical termite species, the host Constrictotermes cyphergaster and its obligate inquiline Inquilinitermes microcerus. One of the fascinating features of this system is that these obligate inquilines, which are never found outside host nests, are apparently unable to perform an intrinsic termite behavior, construct their own mounds, thereby relying on strategies to locate, invade and cohabit host nests.

In the IMPRS for Organismal Biology, a multidisciplinary environment, Helder is willing to gain experience in computational methods and additional biological systems, and perhaps be able to keep pursuing his scientific questions more efficiently. While incorporating his previous experience in complex systems to a better grasp of the field of collective behavior, he wishes to develop a more comprehensive understanding of species coexistence across animal groups.

Curriculum Vitae

Helder Hugo is a Ph.D. student and scientific illustrator with B.Sc. in Biology. In 2016, he earned his M.Sc. in Entomology from the Federal University of Viçosa in Brazil. Before joining Iain Couzin’s group in the Department of Collective Behavior, Helder had theoretical and practical experience in Brazil and USA with Systematics and Ecology of Spiders, Integrated Pest Management, Applied Biological Control, and Behavioral Ecology of Termites.

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