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With its hormone assay services, the endocrinology laboratory supports a large number of scientific projects on the biology and conservation of primates and a few other mammal species.

With our work we assist extensively the research of several scientific units within our institute, but also provide support for external projects as part of international collaborations. The projects are mainly conducted in the fields of behavioural endocrinology, behavioural ecology, reproductive biology, field endocrinology, conservation and animal welfare.   

Amongst those, the endocrinology laboratory is also involved in 3 projects of the Research Group "Sociality and Health in Primates" (FOR 2136) funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) since July 2014.


Below you see a selection of currently running projects and our collaboration partners: 

  • Social determinants of physiological stress and health aspects in wild female crested macaques (Macaca nigra) (Liverpool John Moores University, UK)
  • Functional tradeoffs of male mating strategies in crested macaques (Macaca nigra) (Liverpool John Moores University, UK)
  • The stress factor: Examining anthropogenic sources of stress in wild crested macaques (Macaca nigra) (Liverpool John Moores University, UK; University at Buffalo, USA)
  • Male migration and its underlying endocrine correlates in crested macaques (Macaca nigra) (Liverpool John Moores University, UK)
  • Social networks and variability in stress hormone output in wild female Guinea baboons (Cognitive Ethology Laboratory, DPZ, GER)
  • Dynamics and fitness benefits of male-male social bonds in wild Guinea baboons (Papio papio) (Cognitive Ethology Laboratory, DPZ, GER)
  • Proximate determinants of the mating system of brown-mantled tamarins (Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology Unit, DPZ, GER)
  • The quality of affiliative social relationships and endogenous oxytocin in Barbary macaques (Research Group Social Evolution in Primates, DPZ; University of Göttingen, GER)
  • Integrating behaviour, hormones and genes associated with the primate HPA axis (Research Group Social Evolution in Primates, DPZ; University of Göttingen, GER)
  • Weighing the costs and benefits of sociality in semi-free ranging Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus) (Research Group Social Evolution in Primates, DPZ; University of Göttingen, GER)
  • A healthy social life? Sociality, stress and indicators of health in wild redfronted lemurs (Eulemur rufifrons) (Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology Unit, DPZ; University of Göttingen, GER)
  • Understanding the role of testosterone in parental behaviors of female rhesus macaques (New York University, USA)
  • The benefits of social connection during development in Blue monkeys (Columbia University, USA; New York University, USA)
  • Conservation endocrinology of wild Sumatran and Bornean orangutans (University of Zurich, CH; Agricultural University Bogor, IND)
  • Effects of early life experience on sexual development in adolescent female rhesus macaques of Cayo Santiago, Puerto Rico (University of Chicago, USA)
  • Physiological correlates of behavioural phenotypes in mouse lemurs (University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, GER)
  • Sociality, reproduction and stress in captive and wild meerkats (University of Cambridge, UK, University of Zurich, CH; University of Pretoria, SA)
  • Monitoring female reproductive status in tarsier using fecal hormone analysis (Agricultural University Bogor, IND)
  • Impact of stress and nutrition on the health of chimpanzees coexisting with humans in western Uganda (Oxford Brookes University, UK)
  • Hormonal mechanisms underlying risk-taking behaviour and social roles in three-spined sticklebacks (University of Swansea, UK)
  • Behavioural profiles of captive African elephants - consistency and plasticity in relation to stress levels and reproductive status (University of Frankfurt, GER)
(c) DPZ
A PhD student conducting hormone analysis as part of his dissertation project