Frauke Hoffmann, Diploma student
Male lab mice emit ultrasonic vocalizations with frequencies ranging from 30kHz to 110 kHz when they encounter female mice or their pheromones. Previously, it was shown that these vocalizations have the characteristics of song, consisting of several different syllable types, whose temporal sequencing includes the utterance of repeated phrases (Holy and Guo, 2005).
In my thesis, I want to investigate, whether wild house mice (Mus musculus musculus) emit ultrasonic vocalizations and to which stimuli they do so. I am also interested in the role of social experience i) for males to utter these sounds and ii) for females to deal with these communicative signals. Finally, I want to estimate the repertoire size of different mice of one population and compare them across and within individuals to detect individual differences and to assess general features of these vocalizations.
This project has been carried out at the 'Konrad Lorenz Institute for Ethology' in Vienna under the supervision of Dr. Kerstin Musolf and Dr. Dustin Penn.