Contact Ipek

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Room G15 Cooperage Building
North Mall Campus
University College Cork

Tel: +353 (0)21 490 4675





Ipek obtained her Bachelor of Science degree with honors from Stanford University, M.S. from University of Arizona, and Ph.D. from Princeton University. During her studies, she worked on decision-making in checkerspot butterflies at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Colorado, food caching decisions of Florida scrub-jays at Archbold Biological Station in Florida, learning in bumblebees in Arizona, and social networks and cognitive abilities of ring-tailed lemurs at Duke University and St. Catherines Island, and of crows and common ravens at University of Vienna. She was also a Research Associate at SETI Institute and NASA Ames Research Center in California.


Research Interests

Ipek’s research interests stem from her long-term fascination with three aspects of animal behavior; animal cognition, especially how animals learn and make decisions in changing environments, social behavior, which provides an exciting window into dynamic decision-making processes, and animal communication which is the basis of all social behavior and provides unique insights into animal minds and cognitive abilities. As a postdoc, she will be working with Prof. John Quinn to address the relationships between these topics. She is also a strong supporter of nature conservation and animal welfare, and believes that successful conservation requires a thorough knowledge of animal behavior.


Key Papers

  1. Kulahci, I.G. & Ghazanfar, A.A. 2016. Speaking of which: a multimodal approach to individual recognition. In “The Missing Lemur Link: An Ancestral Step in the Evolution of Human Behaviour” by Ivan Norscia & Elisabetta Palagi. Cambridge University Press.
  2. Kulahci, I.G., Rubenstein, D.I., Bugnyar, T., Hoppitt, W., Mikus, N. & Schwab, C. 2016. Social networks predict selective observation and information spread in ravens. Royal Society Open Science,
  3. Kulahci, I.G., Rubenstein, D.I. & Ghazanfar, A.A. 2015. Lemurs groom-at-a-distance through vocal networks. Animal Behaviour, 110: 179-186.
  4. Kulahci, I.G. Social interactions predict patterns of communication and learning. Ph.D. Dissertation, Princeton University.
  5. Kulahci, I.G., Drea, C.M., Rubenstein, D.I. & Ghazanfar, A.A. 2014. Individual recognition through olfactory – auditory matching in lemurs. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 281: 20140071.
  6. Kulahci, I.G.& Ghazanfar, A.A. 2013. Multisensory recognition in vertebrates (especially primates) in “Integrating face and voice in person perception.” Part 1. pg: 3-27. Editors Belin, P., Campanella, S. & Ethofer, T. Springer Press.
  7. Kulahci, I.G.& Bowman, R. 2011. Recaching decisions of Florida scrub-jays are sensitive to ecological conditionsEthology, 117: 700-707.
  8. Freund, F.T.,Kulahci, I.G., Cyr, G., Ling, J., Winnick, M., Tregloan-Reed, J., Freund, M.M. 2009. Air ionization at rock surfaces and pre-earthquake signals. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, 71: 1824-1834.
  9. Kulahci, I.G., Dornhaus, A. & Papaj, D.R. 2008. Multimodal signals enhance decision-making in foraging bumblebees. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 275: 797-802.
  10. Kulahci, I.G. Cognitive ecology of foraging: complex signals and the speed-accuracy tradeoff. Master’s Thesis, University of Arizona.
  11. Boggs C.L., Holdren C.E.,Kulahci I.G., Bonebrake T.C., Inouye B.D., Fay J.P., McMillan A., Williams E.H. & Ehrlich P.R. 2006. Delayed population explosion of an introduced butterfly. Journal of Animal Ecology, 75: 466-475.


Outreach Activities

Since 2006, Ipek has been running the Animal Cognition Network. Her goal with this website is to help both the researchers and the public to keep up with the current scientific literature on animal cognition research.

She is also a member of the Animal Behavior Society’s Education Committee.