Dr. Noa Truskanov

School of Zoology
ביה"ס לזואולוגיה סגל אקדמי בכיר





PhD (direct track), Zoology, Tel Aviv University


BSc, Biology and the Ofakim interdisciplinary excellence program, University of Haifa


Academic positions:


Senior lecturer, School of Zoology, Tel Aviv University


Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Centre for Ecology and Conservation, University of Exeter, Cornwall campus


Postdoctoral research Fellow, the Hebrew University


Postdoctoral Research Fellow and visiting lecturer, Institute of Biology, University of Neuchâtel


Research interests

My group’s research interests lie at the intersection between social behavior, cognition and ecology. We aim to uncover how cognitive processes and transmission of information shape the adaptive behavior of animals and their ecological and social niches. We conduct behavioral experiments (in both captivity and the wild) and field studies that address both the mechanisms affecting the spread of behavioral innovations and their implications for resource utilization and niche expansion, evolutionary processes and the emergence and stability of mutualistic interactions. Our work currently focuses on (but is not limited to) two main study systems:

  • The role of cultural traditions in black rats’ expansion into novel ecological niches
  • The interplay between cognition and cooperation in the marine cleaning mutualism (the interactions between cleaner fish and client reef fish, in which cleaners provide their clients with ectoparasite removal services)

The group is currently recruiting MSc students and PhD candidates for the next academic year. Please contact Noa for information!

Recent Publications

Thornton A. & Truskanov N. (under review) The role of natural history in animal cognition

Ben-Oren Y., Truskanov N. & Lotem A. (under revision) Reward visibility affects house how sparrows use learned information in foraging decisions.

Truskanov N., Emery Y., Porta S. & Bshary R. (2021) Configural learning by cleaner fish in a complex biological market task. Animal Behaviour, 181, 51–60.

Truskanov N., Emery Y. & Bshary R. (2020) Juvenile cleaner fish can socially learn the consequences of cheating. Nature Communications, 11, 1–9.

Truskanov N., Shy R. & Lotem A. (2018) Context-specific learning and its implications for the evolution of social learning. Behavioral Ecology, 29, 1046–1055.

Truskanov N.* & Prat Y.* (2018) Cultural transmission in an ever-changing world: trial-and-error copying may be more robust than precise imitation. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 373, 20170050.

*equal contribution

Truskanov N. & Lotem A. (2017) Trial-and-error copying of demonstrated actions reveals how fledglings learn to “imitate” their mothers. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 284, 20162744.

Truskanov N. & Lotem A. (2015) The importance of active search for effective social learning: an experimental test in young passerines. Animal Behaviour, 108, 165–173.

Tel Aviv University makes every effort to respect copyright. If you own copyright to the content contained
here and / or the use of such content is in your opinion infringing, Contact us as soon as possible >>