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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 7 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: 

  • Prenatal stress effects on sociality, health and fitness in wild Assamese macaques (Macaca assamensis) (Universität Göttingen; FG Soziale Evolution der Primaten, DPZ))
  • Effects of progressing age on energy balance, sociality and health in wild female Assamese macaques (Macaca assamensis) (Universität Göttingen FG Soziale Evolution der Primaten, DPZ))
  • Energetics and physiology in wild female Assamese macaques (Universität Göttingen; FG Soziale Evolution der Primaten, DPZ)
  • Health and fitness consequences of group size variation in Verreaux´s sifakas (Propithecus verreauxi) (Behavioural Ecology & Sociobiology Unit, DPZ, GER)
  • Social relationships: key to gut microbiome composition in wild redfronted lemurs? (Behavioural Ecology & Sociobiology Unit, DPZ, GER)
  • Social determinants of physiological stress and health aspects in wild female 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)
  • Dynamics and fitness benefits of male-male social bonds in wild Guinea baboons (Papio papio) (Cognitive Ethology Laboratory, DPZ, 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)
  • Evaluating non-invasive biomarkers of inflammation and immune activation in primates (Unit of Infection Models, DPZ; Research Group Social Evolution in Primates, DPZ; New York University, USA)
  • Ecological and physiological implications of rehabilitation and reintroduction of woolly monkeys in Colombia (Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, COL)
  • Grooming exchange: Cooperation and supply and demand among free-ranging rhesus monkeys on Cayo Santiago (University at Buffalo, USA, New York University, USA)
  • The reproductive ecology of the little-known Kinda baboon (New York University, USA)
  • Energetics and reproductive ecology and physiology of wild chacma baboons (University of Swansea, UK)
  • Female ano-genital swelling as a complex sexual signal: morphological, behavioral and hormonal correlates in wild Macaca maura (Roma Tre Universität, IT)
  • The influence of sex and stress hormones on microbiome diversity and behavior in male rhesus macaques (University Colorado at Boulder, USA)
  • Conservation endocrinology of wild Sumatran and Bornean orangutans (University of Zurich, CH; Agricultural University Bogor, IND)
  • 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