New light on animal consciousness: the study by Roberto Cazzolla Gatti
He has just been awarded the Researcher TSU Award 2015 by the Rector of the Tomsk State University in Russia where he has worked as an Associate Professor at the Department of Biology and a Researcher at the Bio-Clim-Land Centre for a year, for “having achieved the most relevant results in research on an international level”. His name is Roberto Cazzolla Gatti, little more than 30 years old and an impressive CV.
His most recent study, published in the journal Ethology Ecology & Evolution, has demonstrated that also dogs have self-consciousness. The study was based on a new research methodology: Gatti, in fact, used a system based on urine sniffing instead of the traditional “mirror test”, starting from the assumption that in dogs the sense of smell is much more developed than sight. The idea seems to have hit the mark since it opens the door to a different approach and to a new paradigm on consciousness. The study was also taken up by the famous British Daily Mail.
He graduated from the University of Bari and obtained a PhD and a master's degree from the University of Tuscia. For about a year, he has been an Associate Professor at the Tomks State University (the third most important university after those of Moscow and St. Petersburg).
His fields of research range from Ethology (a study of orangutans is currently ongoing), to Ecology, in particular, theories on complex biological systems, analysis of biodiversity and study of the impact of global change on ecosystems and species, whereas in the field of Evolution his research focuses on the evolution of biological diversity and the astrobiology systems , and on the role of cooperation in speciation.
Last year, Libreria Universitaria Editore published his academic textbook on the study of biological diversity for Biology students and researchers entitled “Biodiversity, in Theory and in Practice”, which has already been adopted in many Italian universities.
Besides the many scientific articles, in recent years, he has published the novel-essay “The Paradox of Civilization” about ecology and anthropology, some naturalist guides and photo books.