DPZ-Homepage
Menu mobile menu

About us

Female presenting her swelling
Female crested macaque presenting her swelling (Photo: A. Engelhardt)

We are interested in the mechanisms of sexual selection and their impact on social evolution. Specifically, we are currently working on the determinants of male reproductive skew in multimale groups. Distribution of paternity over different males has an important effect on genetic relatedness between group members and thus considerable consequences for social group life. In primates, variation in male reproductive skew is remarkably high, but little is known to date about the proximate mechanisms leading to this variation.

We therefore investigate the factors potentially influencing male offspring production and survival in primate groups, using macaques as the model. Our studies concern questions such as how do males achieve and maintain dominance, what are the costs and benefits of female monopolisation, what is the function of sexual signals, and which mechanisms underlie sperm competition.

Our methodological approach is inter-disciplinary spanning techniques of animal behavior, physiology and genetics. A lot of our studies are carried out on wild/free-ranging animals on various field stations including our own.

Antje Engelhardt Head of the junior research group +49 551 3851-202 Contact Profile

Funded by the Emmy Noether Programme of the German Research Foundation

Emmy Noether Programm