Monica Boada Maza

October 2016 - April 2017
University Complutense University of Madrid, Spain
Project at the WSC Cooperation with humans in wolves and dogs using a string-pulling paradigm
With us since October 2016
Favourite animal at the WSC Nanuk will always have a special place in my heart as he was the first to give me a “nose kiss”

From a young age I have loved animals and decided that I wanted to be a vet. And after a lot of dedication and hard work I achieved the degree in Veterinary Medicine.

I have always been fascinated by wild animals. Considering this, during the degree I opted to do a four-month internship at Madrid Zoo Aquarium, where I learned about the expectations and limitations of a vet in a zoo. However, I focused my attention on small animals' medicine, as my first idea was working at a veterinary clinic. In relation to this, I did a six-month internship at a veterinary hospital. That experience helped me to grow professionally, but I didn’t find it as fulfilling as I expected it to be, and I ended up disillusioned.

So I thought, maybe it's time to listen to my heart and embrace my dreams: to work in what I am really passionate about: wolves. It’s strange, but I can’t really explain, where this passion for wolves comes from. Though they say that love doesn’t need a reason. I have always been attracted to ethology, and so I did my graduate thesis on aggressive behaviour in dogs and collaborated with the Animal Behaviour Clinic of my University.

At the moment I am focusing on expanding my knowledge in animal behaviour. I am mainly interested in canines, and particularly in wolves. I am curious mostly about their cognition, learning and cooperation. Because of this, I don't rule out the possibility of doing a Master or a PhD in ethology in the near future. Therefore, when I found out about the Wolf Science Center, which focuses on research on cognition, emotion and cooperation in wolves and dogs, as well as on their relationship with humans, I knew it was the place, where I should be.

Accordingly, I applied for a scientific internship and, to my delight, I was accepted. I would love to work in any project here at the WSC, and of course I’m pleased with the one I’ve been assigned to. I will be helping a student with her Master thesis on cooperation with humans in wolves and dogs using a string-pulling paradigm. I’m grateful for this opportunity, and I’m sure this will be an unforgettable experience!