22.11.2014 - 22:04
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Contact

Department of Primatology

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6
04103 Leipzig

phone: +49 (341) 3550 - 200
fax: +49 (341) 3550 - 299

Anna Preis

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Department of Primatology
Deutscher Platz 6
D-04103 Leipzig, Germany

Phone: +49 341 3550 235
E-mail: anna_preis@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]eva.mpg.de

Research Interests

I am interested in the hormonal foundation of social behaviour. Recent developments of measurement techniques for non-invasively collected samples, like specific enzyme immunoassasy and LC-MS, opened a new field of research possibilities in natural settings. These methods  allow us to investigate the impact of a single behavioral event on changes in hormone levels  after a specific behaviour has occurred. Although these new methods cannot yet directly address questions of causality, they nonetheless offer a new level of depth and detail in determining connections to specific behaviours and social interactions with specific endocrinological patterns. It also amplifies the scope of determining how different hormones interact with each other in relation to specific social interactions. Encouraged by the possibilities these techniques offer, I aim to investigate effects of aggression, reconcilitaion and third party post-conflict affiliation on urinary cortisol and oxytocin levels for single behavioral events in wild chimpanzees.

Current research

My PhD research invstigates proximate mechansisms of conflict and conflict management in wild West African chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus). I aim to combine detailed behavioural data and urine sample collection, for cortisol and oxytocin analyses, of aggressive and affiliative post-conflict interactions in order to address three main topics related to the field of post-conflict management:

  1. The physiological and psychosocial costs of conflicts,
  2. The physiological mechanism of relationship repair and
  3. The function and motivation of third party initiated post-conflict affiliation.

My field research is conducted at the Tai National Park, Cote d’Ivoire, and the hormonal analyses in the endocrinology laboratory at the MPI EVAN in Leipzig, Germany, under the supervision of Dr. Roman Wittig, Dr. Catherine Crockford and Dr. Tobias Deschner.