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Communication

From an evolutionary perspective, we analyze how social complexity affects the complexity of signals. Lemurs offer an excellent example for this research endeavor through their organization into different social systems, ranging from solitary to pair- as well as group-living species. To describe the complexity of signaling systems, we characterize the repertoire of acoustic, visual and olfactory signals, and compare their structure and function, as well as the multimodal use of signals in species, whose social organization differs. In addition, we study how phylogenetic descent shapes the structure of signaling systems and which signals (acoustic, visual or olfactory) are used for species recognition.

Current Projects

Communicative complexity in primates

Function of signals during collective decisions and for species recognition

 

 

Communicative complexity in primates

Peckre LR, Kappeler PM, Fichtel C (2019) Clarifying and expanding the social complexity hypothesis for communicative complexity. Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology 73: 11

 

 

Function of signals during collective decisions

Sperber AV, Werner L, Kappeler PM, Fichtel C (2017) Grunt to go – Vocal coordination of group movements in redfronted lemurs. Ethology 123: 894-905

 

Function of signals for species recognition

Rakotonirina H, Kappeler PM, Fichtel C (2018) The role of facial pattern variation for species recognition in red-fronted lemurs (Eulemur rufifrons). BMC Evolutionary Biology 18:19

Rakotonirina H, Kappeler PM, Fichtel C (2017) Evolution of facial color complexity in lemurs. Scientific Reports 7: 15181

Rakotonirina H, Kappeler PM, Fichtel C (2016) The role of acoustic signals for species recognition in redfronted lemurs (Eulemur rufifrons). BMC Evolutionary Biology 16:1

 

Focus

Behavioral Biology

Evolution of social systems

Communication

Cognition


Ecology

Autecology

Population ecology

Synecology