Research in this section centers on the evolution of primates and their social systems, the cognitive and physiological foundations of behavior, and the immune systems of primates, with specific regard to the genetic foundations of these aspects. Shedding light on the evolutionary origins is indispensable for an integrated understanding of neurobiological and biomedical research findings obtained in primates.
Primate Genetics Laboratory
Research in the Primate Genetics Laboratory encompasses various aspects of primate biology. On the level of organism, genome, and gene we study the immune function of lymphocytes, investigate the biological diversity in different ecosystems, and reconstruct phylogenetic relationships among primates.
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology Unit
The scientists of the Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology Unit study the behaviour, biodiversity, ecology and evolution of several primate species on madagascar and in south america. These include lemurs, marmosets and uakaris for example.
Cognitive Ethology Laboratory
The scientists of the Cognitive Ethology Lab study cognition and communication from an evolutionary and ecological perspective, primarily in non-human primates. They focus for instance on the information content of vocal signals and its decoding or on the development of cognitive and communicative abilities. Ultimate goal is a contribution to the understanding of the evolution of language.
Social Evolution in Primates
The Research Group Social Evolution in Primates studies the social relationships of Assame macaques in Thailand. The main aim of the scientists is to understand how the striking diversity in primate social structure evolved and which are the ultimate causes underlying this variation.