Rahel Brügger

Rahel Brügger

Concern for reputation in Common Marmosets

Tel.: +41 44 635 58 87




Research Interests

I am broadly interested in the evolution of morality and theory of mind abilities. My PhD focusses on the one hand on a better understanding of social evaluation in common marmosets – a prerequisite for morality and theory of mind abilities. To do so we combine a novel experimental approach and thermography as a non-invasive method to assess arousal levels.
Moreover, I am interested in how marmosets coordinate cooperative actions in their family groups, especially in the case of vigilance behavior. Not all group members contribute equally to vigilance duties in marmoset family groups. We conduct experiments in novel environments to better understand, why and how these differences occur.

This PhD research project is partially funded by the Janggen-Pöhn-Stiftung.


Brügger, R. K., Willems, E. P. & Burkart, J. M. (2021) Do marmosets understand others’ conversations? A thermography approach. Science Advances 7(6), eabc8790, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abc8790

Ermatinger, F. A., Brügger, R. K. & Burkart, J. M. (2019). The use of infrared thermography to investigate emotions in common marmosets. Physiology and Behavior, 211: 112672, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2019.112672

J. M. Burkart, R. K. Brügger, C. P. van Schaik (2018). Evolutionary origins of morality. Insights from nonhuman primates, Frontiers in Psychology, 3:17, https://doi.org/10.3389/fsoc.2018.00017

Brügger R.K., Kappeler-Schmalzriedt T., Burkart J.M. (2018). Reverse audience effects on helping in cooperatively breeding marmoset monkeys. Biology Letters, 14(3), http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0030