Gisela Epple

Affiliations

Alumna, Monell Chemical Senses Center

Education

Ph.D., Zoology; Johann Wolfgang Goethe University (Germany)

Research Summary

My research has centered on the role of chemical signals in the control of mammalian behavior. My early work at Monell was done with primates. It concentrated on body odors produced by specialized skin glands as social signals that influence reproductive success and dominance relationships. Later, I became interested in the role of associative odor learning during human development. My research also investigated the efficacy of ambient odors associated to positive or negative emotional events to modify cognitive performance, taste persistence and social behavior of children. I also collaborated with several USDA scientists at Monell in studies concerned with predator-derived chemical signals on the behavior of their prey in an effort to screen possible natural repellents for wildlife.