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As a part of complementary studies in autecology, we study historical adaptation in terms of structure and lifestyle, the patterns and causes of species' distributions, and the influence of biotic and abiotic factors – especially in the context of seasonality – on the survival of individuals.
Phylogenetically controlled analyses and reconstructions reveal the evolutionary factors that have influenced interspecific variability in various morphological and behavioral traits. Satellite-aided analysis of vegetation allows us to study the distribution of different primate species from the local to the global scale.
Long-term climatic data, collected continuously, as well as data on the availability of plant-based foods and their ingredients, allow us to study the adaptation of primates with regard to their variability within a single year, and across years and decades.

Current Projects

The evolution of relative tail length in primates

Sehner S, Fichtel C, Kappeler PM (2018) Primate tails: Ancestral state reconstruction and determinants of interspecific variation in primate tail length. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 167: 750-759.


The evolution of sexual dimorphism in Malagasy mammals
(in cooperation with S. Goodman (Field Museum Chicago) and C. Nunn (Duke University)

Kappeler PM, Nunn CL, Vining AQ, Goodman SM (2019) Evolutionary dynamics of sexual size dimorphism in non-volant mammals following their independent colonization of Madagascar. Scientific Reports 9: 1454.

Patterns and consequences in the spatial distribution of mouse lemurs
(in collaboration with J. Ganzhorn, University of Hamburg)

The influence of maternal stress on the development in Verreaux’s Sifakas
(Hasina Malalaharivony)

Ecology of coppery red titi monkeys, Plecturocebus cupreus

Dolotovskaya S, Heymann EW (im Druck) Do less or eat more: strategies to cope with costs of parental care in a pair-living monkey. Animal Behaviour.

Kulp J, Heymann EW (2015) Ranging, activity budget, and diet composition of red titi monkeys (Callicebus cupreus) in primary forest and forest edge. Primates 56: 273-278

Vigilance in socially monogamous coppery red titi monkeys (Plecturocebus cupreus)

Adaptation to habitat fragmentation in the San Martín titi monkey, Plecturocebus oenanthe
(in cooperation with Proyecto Mono Tocón, Moyobamba, Peru)

Huashuayo-Llamocca R, Heymann EW (2017) Fur-rubbing with Piper leaves in the San Martín titi monkey, Callicebus oenanthe. Primate Biology 4: 127-130


The length of the activity period in diurnal Neotropical primates
(in cooperation with Charles Nunn, Duke University)