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Julia Jenikejew

Julia Jenikejew, MSc

Doctoral student


Project: Vocal correlates of mate quality and proceptivity in the vocalization of southern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum)


My main interest is animal behavioural research and its potential to systematically contribute to the conservation of endangered species. Currently, I am particularly interested in the vocalization of white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) and the possible connection to proceptivity and mating behaviour.


White rhinoceroses are one of Africa’s most endangered mammals and are highly reliant on successful captivity breeding, as it is a crucial backbone for the precarious and constantly decreasing population levels. Unfortunately, these megaherbivores reproduce only laboriously in captivity; many captive born females remain without offspring their entire life. For the last decades possible influencing factors such as abnormalities of the endocrine cycle,

behavioural deficiency in socio-sexual behavioural patterns, preferences of males for wild born females, size of enclosure, group composition and diet amongst others have been discussed.


By combining the methods of bioacoustics and endocrinology, therefore analysing the vocal behaviour and hormonal levels, I now want to investigate whether it is possible to detect the cycle state and the disposition for mating even before the oestrus in white rhinoceroses kept in zoos as well as the ability of the animals to perceive the hormonal status of the sender based on its vocalisation. The results could greatly contribute to new enhanced breeding approaches in captive white rhinoceros.

Julia Jenikejew, MSc

Professional and scientific career

Since 01/2018

Doctoral student at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover, Germany Doctoral Thesis: "Vocal correlates of mate quality and proceptivity in the vocalization of southern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum)"



Educational assistant and guide at the “Kölner Zoo”, Cologne, Germany



Research assistant at the Institute for Biology & Didactics- Zoology, University of Cologne, Germany: Assistance for lectureship, development of external educational programs for inquiry-based learning




Field assistant for the Etosha Rand Lion Conservation Project, Namibia: Population monitoring of lions outside of protected areas



Intern at the field site of the German Primate Center, Kirindy, Madagascar: Assistance for PhD projects in mouse lemurs and red-fronted lemurs



Educational assistant and guide at the Allwetter Zoo Münster, Germany



Intern at the Wolf Science Center, Ernstbrunn, Austria: Numerical competence in canines



Studies of Biosciences at the University of Münster, Germany Master thesis at the Department of Behavioural Biology: “Do different social experiences during adolescence affect aggressive and anxiety-like behavior in male mice?” Bachelor thesis at the Department of Behavioural Biology: “Development of behavior and cortisol response in male guinea pigs during juvenile stage”



I. Articles in peer reviewed journals



Meyer, N., Jenikejew, J., Richter, S. H., Kaiser, S., & Sachser, N. (2017). Social experiences during adolescence affect anxiety-like behavior but not aggressiveness in male mice. Behavioural brain research, 326, 147-153.  


Range, F., Jenikejew, J., Schröder, I., & Virányi, Z. (2014). Difference in quantity discrimination in dogs and wolves. Frontiers in psychology, 5, 1299.


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