Maxime Fraser Franco
ProjectQuantifying how habitat structure and learning experience shape selection on predator behaviour using videogame environments
Predators display different tactics to successfully capture prey. The expression of these tactics can be mediated by their hunting experience and the habitat structures where they hunt. The main objective of my research is to quantify how habitat structure and predator hunting experience cause and shape selection on predator behaviour, using a videogame that simulates a predator-prey interaction. An advantage of using videogames is that we recreate "real-life" situations where we can manipulate environmental components experimentally to infer their effect on behaviour. They also provide us with massive amounts of data, giving the opportunity to measure multiple behavioural variables across different environmental gradients. Manipulating environmental components to understand evolutionnary change is a major challenge in evolutionnary ecology. My project should help us uncover how predator experience and habitat structure interact to shape selection on hunting behaviour.