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Institut für Evolutionäre Anthropologie (IEA)

  • Nut crack chinpanzee
  • Bonobo
  • 3. GTAP gorilla 2
  • Nimba view

Ape Behaviour & Ecology Group

Our research group studies the behaviour and ecology of wild great apes in order to learn more about the evolutionary origins of their behaviour, as well as our own.

We use a comparative developmental approach to investigate the evolutionary drivers and the development of tool use and material culture in great apes (including humans). We are interested in the influence of ecological and socio-cognitive factors on the use of technology. This work involves field research on great apes - chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and humans - all living in the Congo Basin Forest of Central Africa.

Additionally, we study chimpanzee behaviour and ecology at my long-term study site in the Nimba Mountains in Guinea, West Africa. Research topics include foraging adaptations (incl. tool use), sociality, ranging and grouping, habitat suitability modelling and conservation genetics. We use our research findings to inform the development of applied conservation strategies to protect the apes and their habitat.

We warmly welcome applications from potential Master’s students, Ph.D. students, post-doctoral researchers, and visiting researchers.


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