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Research projects


Current projects


more information  Social determinants of physiological stress and health in wild crested macaques (Macaca nigra)
Céline Bret, PhD student, German Primate Center, Germany

The quality and quantity of social relationships influences the individual risk of mortality in humans and animals alike. The buffering effect social relationships may have on acute and chronic stressors have been particularly invoked in this respect. Chronically elevated glucocorticoid levels have been shown to suppress the immune system and, thus, to increase susceptibility to parasites and disease, and thereby mortality in a variety of taxa. Furthermore, more recent studies on personality suggest that certain personality traits also impact individual immune response and healthiness.

In our study, we therefore aim at investigating this relationship in a wild population of a highly tolerant primate species, the crested macaque.

The study will be carried out by combining detailed analysis of behavioural data, including social network analysis, with data on physiological stress, and from a set of non-invasively collected health markers.

more information  The stress factor: Examining anthropogenic sources of stress in wild M. nigra
Dominique Bertrand, PhD student, University at Buffalo, USA

Ecotourism sites are often buttressed against villages. This proximity can cause conflict between human and animal populations.

Primate conservation status is often used as an indicator of the overall health of resident ecosystems. As such, it is important to understand the factors, both natural and anthropogenic, that contribute to poor primate fitness in the wild. In order to explore these factors,

In our study, we therefore examine two anthropogenic influences (tourism and range restriction) on stress-related behavior and physiology of M. nigra in Tangkoko, over the course of one year, beginning in the fall of 2014. Specifically, our aim is to pinpoint which aspects of tourism and crop-raiding defense are most stressful in order to recommend management adjustments that will bring Tangkoko in closer alignment with its conservation goals.

more information  Intergroup interations in crested black macaques (Macaca nigra)
Laura Martinez Inigo, PhD student

Intergroup interactions are key aspects of primate social life. They can determine space usage and access to resources. This, in turn, can have enormous impacts on intragroup dynamics such as behaviour and demography. Despite their importance, intergroup interactions are one of the least studied parts of primate socio-ecology.

This project aims to address the topic in an integrative manner investigating the questions:

  • Do groups avoid encountering each other? If so, what mechanisms do they use?
  • What factors explain whether an individual participates in an intergroup conflict?
  • Do intergroup encounters alter the behavioural patterns within the groups?
  • Is there intergroup dominance? If so, what factors determine it and what are the consequences?
  • These questions will be explored by studying neighbouring groups of black crested macaques. Data collection will involve behavioural observations, spatial data collection and non-invasive sample collection for DNA analyses.

    more information  Factors Influencing Incomplete Male Monopolization of Females in Crested Macaques (Macaca nigra)
    Lisa Danish, Postdoc, German Primate Center, Germany

    Among the mammals, human and nonhuman primates are unusual in the degree of variation in male ability to monopolize sexual access to females. Recent data from a number of primate taxa, however, reveal the substantial variation in male reproductive skew.

    Since male reproductive skew varies, high ranking males are not always able to completely monopolize paternity. Multiple hypotheses have been proposed to explain this incomplete monopolization and include:

    1) functional costs and tradeoffs;

    2) female strategies;

    3) alternative male mating strategies; and

    4) the Concession Model.

    I will test these hypotheses by integrating behavioral, genetic, and physiological data from data collected on crested macaques (Macaca nigra). Data and sample collection, and analysis at Bogor Agricultural University will take place from October 1 2014- September 30 2016.




    Former projects


    more information  The function of female copulation calls
    Teija Nugraha Febranouva, Master student, Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia

    more information  Female social relationships
    Julie Duboscq, PhD student, German Primate Center, Germany in collaboration with
    Bernard Thierry, DEPE-CNRS-Strasbourg University, France and Oliver Schuelke,
    CRC "Evolution of Social Behaviour", Göttingen, Germany

    more information  Male offspring relationships
    Daphne Kerhoas, PhD student, German Primate Center, Germany in collaboration with
    Anja Widdig, MPI-EVA, Germany

    more information  Achievement and maintenance of dominance in males
    Christof Neumann, PhD student (in collaboration with Anja Widdig, MPI-EVA)

    more information  Female sexual behaviour during ovarian cycles
    Britta Rohr, Diploma student, Free University of Berlin, Germany, completed

    more information  Development of female sexual traits during adolescence and male response
    Stefan Wedegärtner, Diploma student, Free University of Berlin, Germany

    more information  The effect of mothering and allomothering style on infant development
    Kristin Hagel, Bachelor student, Free University of Berlin, Germany

    more information  Daily activity, home range use and feeding behaviour of two groups in mixed habitat
    Hani Pontororing, Master student, Universitas Sam Ratulangi, Manado, Indonesia, completed
    and Giyarto, Universitas Gadja Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, completed

    more information  Loud calls: contextual differences in structure and response of group mates
    Christof Neumann, Master student, University of Leipzig/German Primate Center, Germany, completed

    more information  Rank dependant differences in frequency and acoustic structure of loud calls
    Gholib Assahad, Bachelor student, Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia, completed

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