interested in animal communication in mammals especially in
pinnipeds. I investigate the coding-decoding processes of individual
recognition between mother and offspring, and how individual
recognition systmes vary in regards to ecological and environmental
contraints. Pinnipeds are an excellent model to study vocal
communication since they show different social structure (from
solitary to highly colonial species) and different reproductive
systems (from serial monogamous to highly polygynous species).
Involvement of other sensorial modalities in individual recognition
mechanisms such as vision and olfactory are also investigated.
Current Projects & Collaborations
Projects on Australian sea lions in
collaboration with Pr. Robert Harcourt, Marine Mammal Research
Group, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.
- Mother-pup individual
recognition and multi-modal signaling in the Australian sea
lion, Neophoca cinerea (B. PITCHER PhD thesis). Collaboration
with Dr. Benoist SCHAAL (CESG, France).
- Mating system and population structure of the
Australian sea lion Neophoca cinerea (H. AHONEN PhD thesis).
Collaboration with Dr. Adam STOW (Macquarie Uni, Bio Dpt)
- Males vocal communication in Australian
sea lion (Honor theses: J. Gwilliam and M. Attard).
Fundings: Pr. Rob HARCOURT, Macquarie
University, Sydney, MURG grants (2005-2008) & CNRS (France).
Project on Northern Elephant seals in collaboration with Dr.
Colleen Reichmuth, Pinniped Cognition & Sensory Systems
laboratory, UCSG, USA.
- Males vocal behaviour: dominance,
social rank & territorial defence
Project on Harbour Seal in collaboration
with Dr. Gwenael Beauplet, Université Laval, Québec,
- Mother-pup vocal communication and
recognition: underwater and in-air recognition
Projects on Walrus in collaborations with Canadian researchers
(field study); and with Dolfinarium-Harderwijk and l'Oceanographic-Valencia
- Mother-calf individual
- Group recognition and vocal behaviour.
- Males vocal behaviour.
Fundings: French Polar Institute, IPEV,
Arctic research grants (2006, 2008, 2011), National Geographic
CRE grant (2011).
Some Selected Publications
Charrier, I., Mathevon, N. and Aubin, T. (2013) Bearded seal
males perceive geographic variation in their trills. Behavioural
Ecology and Sociobiology 67(10)1679-1689.
Charrier, I., Ahonen, H. & Harcourt, R.G. 2011. What Makes
an Australian Sea Lion (Neophoca cinerea) Male’s Bark
Threatening? Journal of Comparative Psychology 125(4): 385-392.
Pitcher B. J. & Harcourt R. G., Schaal, B., Charrier, I.
2011. Social olfaction in marine mammals: wild female Australian
sea lions can identify their pup’s scent. Biology Letters
Charrier, I., Aubin, T. & Mathevon, N. 2010. Calf’s
vocal recognition by Atlantic walrus mothers: ecological constraints
and adaptations. Animal Cognition 13, 471-482.
Charrier I., Pitcher B. J. & Harcourt R. G. 2009. Vocal
recognition of mothers by Australian sea lion pups: individual
signature and environmental constraints. Animal Behaviour 78,
Charrier, I., Mathevon, N., & Jouventin, P. 2003. Vocal
signature recognition of mothers by fur seal pups. Animal Behaviour,
Charrier, I., Mathevon, N., Jouventin, P. 2001. Mother's voice
recognition by seal pups. Nature, 412, 873.