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Department of Primatology

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6
04103 Leipzig

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


Peer-reviewed publications

  1. Vigilant L, Stoneking M, and AC Wilson (1988). Conformational mutation in human mitochondrial DNA detected by direct sequencing of enzymatically amplified DNA. Nucleic Acids Research 16: 5945-5955.
  2. Vigilant L, Pennington R, Harpending H, Kocher T and AC Wilson (1989). Mitochondrial DNA sequences in single hairs from a southern African population. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 86: 9350-9354.
  3. Vigilant L, Stoneking M, Harpending H, Hawkes K, and AC Wilson (1991). African populations and the evolution of human mitochondrial DNA. Science 253: 1503-1507.
  4. Stoneking M, Hedgecock D, Higuchi R, Vigilant L, and HA Erlich (1991). Population variation of human mtDNA control region sequences detected by enzymatic amplification and sequence-specific oligonucleotide probes. American Journal of Human Genetics 48: 370-382.
  5. Stoneking M, Sherry S T, and Vigilant L (1992). Geographic origin of human mitochondrial DNA revisited. Systemic Biology 41: 384-391.
  6. Stoneking M, Sherry S T, Redd AJ, and Vigilant L (1992). New approaches to dating suggest a recent age for the human mtDNA ancestor. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Series B 337: 167-175.
  7. Soodyall H, Vigilant L, Hill A V, Stoneking M, and Jenkins T (1996) MtDNA control-region sequence variation suggests multiple independent origins of an “Asian-specific” 9-bp deletion in sub-Saharan Africans. American Journal of Human Genetics 58: 595-608.
  8. Vigilant L (1999) An evaluation of techniques for the extraction and amplification of DNA from naturally shed hairs. Biological Chemistry 380: 1329-1331.
  9. DiBenedetto G, Nasidze IS, Stenico M, Nigro L, Krings M, Lanzinger M, Vigilant L, Stoneking M, Pääbo S and Barbujani G (2000) Mitochondrial DNA equences in prehistoric human remains from the Alps. European Journal of Human Genetics 8: 669-677.
  10. Bradley BJ, Boesch C and Vigilant L (2000) Identification and redesign of human microsatellite markers for genotyping wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) and gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) DNA from feces. Conservation Genetics 1: 289-292.
  11. Warren KS, Verschoor EJ, Langenhuijzen S, Heriyanto, Swan RA, Vigilant L and Heeney JH (2001) Speciation and intra-subspecific variation of Bornean orang-utans, Pongo pygmaeus pygmaeus. Molecular Biology and Evolution 18: 472-480.
  12. Morin PA, Chambers KE, Boesch C and Vigilant L (2001) Quantitative PCR analysis of DNA from noninvasive samples for accurate microsatellite genotyping of wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus). Molecular Ecology 10: 1835-1844.
  13. Bradley BJ, Chambers K and Vigilant L (2001) Accurate DNA-based sex identification of apes using non-invasive samples. Conservation Genetics 2: 179-181.
  14. Vigilant L, Hofreiter M, Siedel H, and Boesch C (2001) Paternity and relatedness in wild chimpanzee communities. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 98: 12890-12895.
  15. Smith S, Vigilant L and Morin P (2002) The effects of sequence length and oligonucleotide mismatches on 5’ exonuclease assay efficiency. Nucleic Acids Research 30: e111.
  16. Bradley BJ and Vigilant L (2002) False alleles derived from microbial DNA pose a potential source of error in microsatellite genotyping of DNA from feces. Molecular Ecology Notes 2: 602-605.
  17. Hofreiter M, Siedel H and Vigilant L (2003) Mitochondrial DNA sequence from a vanished remnant gorilla population (Gorilla gorilla uellensis). American Journal of Physical Anthropology 121: 361-368.
  18. Thalmann O, Hebler J, Poinar H, Pääbo S and Vigilant L (2004) Unreliable mtDNA data due to nuclear insertions: a cautionary tale from analysis of humans and other great apes. Molecular Ecology 13: 321-335.
  19. Crockford C, Herbinger I, Vigilant L and Boesch C (2004) Wild chimpanzees produce group-specific calls: a case for vocal learning? Ethology 110: 221-243.
  20. Bradley BJ, Doran-Sheehy DM, Lukas D, Boesch C and Vigilant L (2004) Dispersed male networks in western gorillas. Current Biology 14: 510-513.
  21. Nsubuga AM, Robbins MM, Roeder A, Morin P, Boesch C and Vigilant L (2004) Factors affecting the amount of genomic DNA extracted from ape feces and the identification of an improved sample storage method. Molecular Ecology 13: 2089-2094.
  22. McGrew WC, Ensminger AL, Marchant LF, Pruetz JD and Vigilant L (2004) Genotyping aids field study of unhabituated chimpanzees. American Journal of Primatology 63: 87-93.
  23. Leendertz FH, Ellerbrok H, Boesch C, Couacy-Hymann E, Mätz-Rensing K, Hakenbeck R, Bergmann C, Abaza P, Junglen S, Moebius S, Vigilant L, Formenty P and Pauli G (2004) Anthrax kills wild chimpanzees in a tropical rainforest. Nature 430: 451-452.
  24. Chambers KE, Reichard UH, Möller A, Nowak K, and Vigilant L (2004) Cross-species amplification of human microsatellite markers using non-invasive samples from white-handed gibbons (Hylobates lar) American Journal of Primatology 64: 19-27.
  25. Vigilant L and Bradley BJ (2004) Genetic variation in gorillas. American Journal of Primatology 64: 161-172.
  26. Lukas D, Bradley BJ, Nsubuga AM, Doran-Sheehy D, Robbins M, Vigilant L (2004) Major histocompatibility complex and microsatellite variation in two populations of wild gorillas. Molecular Ecology 13: 3389-3402.
  27. Eriksson J, Hohmann G, Boesch C and Vigilant L (2004) Rivers influence the population genetic structure of bonobos. Molecular Ecology 13: 3425-3435.
  28. Pääbo S, Poinar H, Serre D, Jaenicke-Després V, Hebler J, Rohland N, Kuch M, Krause J, Vigilant L and Hofreiter M (2004) Genetic analyses from ancient DNA. Annual Review of Genetics 38: 645-79.
  29. Thalmann O, Serre D, Hofreiter M, Lukas D, Eriksson J and Vigilant L (2005) Nuclear insertions help and hinder inference of the evolutionary history of gorilla mtDNA. Molecular Ecology 14: 179-188.
  30. Lukas D, Vigilant L (2005) Reply: Facts, faeces and setting standards for the study of MHC genes using noninvasive samples. Molecular Ecology 14: 1601-1602.
  31. Lukas D, Reynolds V, Boesch C and Vigilant L (2005) To what extent does living in a group mean living with kin? Molecular Ecology 14: 2181-2196.
  32. Bradley BJ, Robbins MM, Williamson EA, Steklis HD, Steklis NG, Eckhardt N, Boesch C, Vigilant L (2005) Mountain gorilla tug-of-war: silverbacks have limited control over reproduction in multi-male groups. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 102: 9418-9423.
  33. Leendertz FH, Yumlu S, Pauli G, Boesch C, Couacy-Hymann E, Vigilant L, Yunglen S, Schenk S, Ellerbrok H (2006) A new Bacillus anthracis found in wild chimpanzees and a gorilla from West and Central Africa. PLoS Pathogens 2:1, e8 DOI: 10.1371.
  34. Muniz L, Perry S, Manson JH, Gilkenson H, Gros-Louis J, Vigilant L (2006) Father-daughter inbreeding avoidance in a wild primate population. Current Biology 16: R156-157.
  35. Eriksson J, Siedel H, Lukas D, Kayser M, Erler A, Hashimoto C, Hohmann G, Boesch C, Vigilant L (2006) Y-chromosome analysis confirms highly sex-biased dispersal and suggests a low male effective population size in bonobos (Pan paniscus). Molecular Ecology 15: 939-949.
  36. Boesch C, Kohou G, Néné H and Vigilant L (2006) Male competition and paternity in wild chimpanzees of the Taï forest. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 130: 103-115.
  37. Thalmann O, Fischer A, Lankester F, Pääbo S, Vigilant L (2007) The complex evolutionary history of gorillas: insights from genomic data. Molecular Biology and Evolution 24: 146-158.
  38. Bergl R, Vigilant L (2007) Genetic analysis reveals population structure and recent migration within the highly fragmented range of the Cross River gorilla. Molecular Ecology 16: 501-516.
  39. Bradley BJ, Stiller M, Doran-Sheehy DM, Harris T, Chapman CA, Vigilant L, Poinar H (2007) Plant DNA sequences from feces: Potential means for assessing diets of wild primates. American Journal of Primatology 69: 1-7.
  40. Langergraber KE, Mitani JC, Vigilant L (2007) The limited impact of kinship on cooperation in wild chimpanzees. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 104: 7786-7790.
  41. Bradley BJ, Doran-Sheehy D, Vigilant L (2007) Potential for female kin associations in wild western gorillas despite female dispersal. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 274: 2179-2185.
  42. Boesch C, Head J, Tagg N, Arandjelovic M, Vigilant L, Robbins M (2007) Fatal chimpanzee attack in Loango National Park, Gabon: Observational and genetic evidence. International Journal of Primatology 28: 1025-1034.
  43. Langergraber KE, Siedel H, Mitani JC, Wrangham RW, Reynolds V, Hunt KD and Vigilant L (2007) The genetic signature of sex-biased migration in patrilocal chimpanzees and humans. PLoS One 10: e973.
  44. Muniz L, Vigilant L (2008) Isolation and characterization of microsatellite markers in the white-faced capuchin monkey (Cebus capucinus) and cross-species amplification in other New World monkeys. Molecular Ecology Resources 8: 402-405.
  45. Nsubuga AM, Robbins MM, Vigilant L (2008) Patterns of paternity and group fission in wild multimale mountain gorilla groups. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 135: 263-274.
  46. Perry S, Manson JH, Muniz L, Gros-Louis J, Vigilant L (2008) Kin-biased social behaviour in wild adult female white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus) Animal Behaviour 76: 187-199.
  47. Bradley BJ, Doran-Sheehy DM, Vigilant L (2008) Genetic identification of elusive animals: Re-evaluating tracking and nesting data for wild western gorillas. Journal of Zoology 275:333-340.
  48. Bergl R, Bradley BJ, Nsubuga AM, Vigilant L (2008) Genetic effects of habitat fragmentation, population size and demographic history on primate populations: the Cross River gorilla in a comparative context. American Journal of Primatology 70: 848-859.
  49. Inoue E, Inoue-Murayama M, Vigilant L, Takenaka O, Nishida T (2008) Relatedness in wild chimpanzees: influence of paternity, male philopatry, and demographic factors. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 137: 256-262.
  50. Guschanski K, Caillaud D, Robbins MM, Vigilant L (2008) Females shape the genetic structure of a gorilla population. Current Biology 18: 1809-1814.
  51. Vigilant L (2009) Elucidating population histories using genomic DNA sequences Current Anthropology 50: 201-212.
  52. Arandjelovic M, Guschanski K, Schubert G, Harris TR, Thalmann O, Siedel H, Vigilant L (2009) Two-step multiplex PCR improves the speed and accuracy of genotyping using DNA from noninvasive and museum samples. Molecular Ecology Resources 9: 28-36.
  53. Guschanski K, Vigilant L, McNeilage A, Grey M, Kagoda E, Robbins MM (2009) Counting elusive animals: comparison of a field and genetic census of the entire population of mountain gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda. Biological Conservation 142: 290-300.
  54. Vigilant L, Guschanski K (2009) Using genetics to understand the dynamics of wild primate populations. Primates 50: 105-120.
  55. Harris TR, Caillaud D, Chapman CA, Vigilant L (2009) Neither genetic nor observational data alone are sufficient for understanding sex-biased dispersal in social-group-living species. Molecular Ecology 18: 1777-1790.
  56. Langergraber K, Mitani J, Vigilant L (2009) Kinship and social bonds in female chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). American Journal of Primatology 71: 1-12.
  57. Newton-Fisher NE, Emery Thompson M, Reynolds V, Boesch C, Vigilant L (2010) Paternity and social rank in wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) from the Budongo Forest, Uganda. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 142: 417-428.
  58. Smith TM, Smith BH, Reid DJ, Siedel H, Vigilant L, Hublin JJ, Boesch C (2010) Dental development of the Taï Forest chimpanzees revisited. Journal of Human Evolution 58: 363-373.
  59. Arandjelovic M, Head J, Kühl H, Boesch C. Robbins MM, Maisels F, Vigilant L (2010) Effective non-invasive genetic monitoring of multiple wild western gorilla groups. Biological Conservation 143: 1780-1791.
  60. Muniz L, Perry S, Manson JH, Gilkenson, Gros-Louis J, Vigilant L (2010) Male dominance and reproductive success in wild white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus) at Lomas Barbudal, Costa Rica. American Journal of Primatology 71: 1-13. 
  61. Schülke O, Bhagavatula J, Vigilant L, Ostner J (2010) Social bonds enhance reproductive success in male macaques. Current Biology 20: 2207-2210.
  62. Chan Y-C, Roos C, Inoue-Muruyama M, Inoue E, Shih C-C, Pei K J-C, Vigilant L (2010) Mitochondrial genome sequences effectively reveal the phylogeny of Hylobates gibbons. PLoS ONE 5: e14419.
  63. Langergraber KE, Boesch C, Inoue E, Inoue-Muruyama M, Mitani JC, Nishida T, Pusey A, Reynolds V, Schubert G, Wrangham RW, Wroblewski E, Vigilant L (2011) Genetic and ‘cultural’ similarity in wild chimpanzees. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 278: 408-416. doi:10.1098/rspb.2010.1112
  64. Langergraber KE, Vigilant L (2011) Genetic differences cannot be excluded from generating behavioural differences among chimpanzee groups (letter). Proceedings of the Royal Society B 278: 2094-2095. doi:10.1098/rspb.2011.039.
  65. Langergraber K, Schubert G, Rowney C, Wrangham R, Zommers Z, Vigilant L (2011) Genetic differentiation and the evolution of cooperation in chimpanzees and  humans. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 278: 2546-2552.  doi: 10.1098/rspb.2010.2592
  66. Arandjelovic M, Head J, Rabanal L, Schubert G, Mettke E, Boesch C, Robbins MM, Vigilant L (2011) Non-invasive genetic monitoring of wild central chimpanzees. PloS One. 6(3): e14761. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0014761
  67. Thalmann O, Wegmann D, Spitzner M, Arandjelovic M, Guschanski K, Mundry R, Leuenberger C, Bergl RA, Vigilant L (2011) Historical sampling reveals dramatic demographic changes in western gorilla populations. BMC Evolutionary Biology 11:85 doi:10.1186/1471-2148- 11-85.
  68. Vigilant L, Langergraber K (2011) Inconclusive evidence for patrilocality in Neandertals (letter). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 108:E87
  69. Schubert G, Stoneking CJ, Arandjelovic M, Boesch C, Eckhardt N, Hohmann G, Langergraber K, Lukas D, Vigilant L (2011) Male–mediated gene flow in patrilocal primates. PloS One 6(7): e21514. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0021514
  70. Chang ZF, Liu ZJ, Yang JY, Li M, Vigilant L (2011) Noninvasive genetic assessment of the population trend and sex ratio of the Shennongjia population of Sichuan snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus roxellana). Chinese Science Bulletin (in English) 56: 1- 7. doi 10.1007/s11434-011-4872-6
  71. Scally A, Dutheil JY,. Hillier LW, Jordan GE, Goodhead I, Herrero J, Hobolth A, Lappalainen T, Mailund T, Marques-Bonet T, McCarthy S, Montgomery SH, Schwalie PC, Tang YA,Ward MC, Xue Y, Yngvadottir B, Alkan C, Andersen LN, Ayub Q, Ball  EV, Beal K, Bradley BJ, Chen Y, Clee CM, Fitzgerald S, Graves TA, Gu1 Y, Heath P,  Heger A, Karakoc E, Kolb-Kokocinski A, Laird GK, Lunter G, Meader S, Mort M, Mullikin JC, Munch K, O'Connor TD, Phillips AD, Prado-Martinez J, Rogers AS, Sajjadian S, Schmidt D, Shaw K, Simpson JT, Stenson PD, Turner DJ, Vigilant L, Vilella AJ, Whitener W, Zhu1 B , Cooper DN, deJong P, Dermitzakis ET, Eichler EE, Flicek P, Goldman N, Mundy NI, Ning Z, Odom DT, Ponting CP, Quail MA, Ryder OA, Searle SM, Warren WC, Wilson RK, Schierup MH, Rogers J, Tyler-Smith C, Durbin R (2012) Insights into hominid evolution from the gorilla genome sequence. Nature 483: 169-175. doi: 10.1038/nature10842.
  72. Chancellor RL, Langergraber K, Ramirez S, Rundus AS, Vigilant L (2012) Genetic  sampling of unhabituated chimpanzees in Gishwati Forest Reserve, an isolated forest fragment in western Rwanda. International Journal of Primatology 33: 479-488.
  73. Vigilant L, Groeneveld LF (2012) Using genetics to understand primate social systems. Nature Education Knowledge 3(7):3.
  74. Chan Y-C, Roos C, Inoue-Murayama M, Inoue E, Shih C-C, Vigilant L (2012) A comparative analysis of Y chromosome and mtDNA phylogenies of the Hylobates gibbons. BMC Evolutionary Biology 12:150.
  75. Groeneveld LF, Atencia R, Garriga RM, Vigilant L (2012) High diversity at PRDM9 in chimpanzees and bonobos. PloS ONE 7(7) e39064.
  76. Langergraber KE, Prüfer K, Rowney C, Boesch C, Crockford C, Fawcett K, Inoue E, Inoue-Muruyama M, Mitani JC, Muller MN, Robbins MM, Schubert G, Stoinski TS, Viola B, Watts D, Wittig RM, Wrangham RW, Zuberbühler K, Pääbo S, Vigilant L (2012) Generation times in wild chimpanzees and gorillas suggest earlier divergence times in great ape and human evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of  Sciences USA 109:15716-15721.
  77. Gray M, Roy J, Vigilant L, Fawcett K, Basabose A, Cranfield M, Uwingeli P, Mburanumwe I, Kagoda E, Robbins MM (2013) Genetic census reveals increased but uneven growth of a critically endangered mountain gorilla population. Biological Conservation 158:230-238. 
  78. Chan Y-C, Roos C, Inoue-Murayama M, Inoue E, Shih C-C, Pei J-C K, Vigilant L (2013) Inferring the evolutionary histories of divergences in Hylobates and Nomascus gibbons through multilocus sequence data. BMC Evolutionary Biology 13:82,  DOI: 10.1186/1471-2148-13-82.
  79. Langergraber KE, Mitani JC, Watts DP, Vigilant L (2013) Male-female socio-spatial relationships and reproduction in wild chimpanzees. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology DOI: 10.1007/s00265-013-1509-6
  80. Ostner J, Vigilant L, Bhagavatula J, Franz M, Schülke O (2013) Stable heterosexual associations in a promiscuous primate. Animal Behaviour

Book Chapters, reviews, other publications

  • Stoneking M, Sherry ST, Redd AJ, and Vigilant, L New approaches to dating suggest a recent age for the human mtDNA ancestor. In: The Origin of Modern Humans and the Impact of Chronometric Dating, edited by Aitken MJ, Stringer CB and Mellars PA, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1993, pp. 84-103.
  • Vigilant L (1996). Evolution of human mitochondrial DNA. In: Encyclopedia of Molecular Biology and Molecular Medicine, Volume 4, R A Meyers (ed.), VCH, New York, pp.84-90.
  • Vigilant L and Pääbo S (1999) A chimpanzee millennium. (editorial) Biological Chemistry  380: 1353-1354.
  • Bradley BJ and Vigilant L (2002) The evolutionary genetics and molecular ecology of chimpanzees and bonobos. In: Behavioral Diversity in Chimpanzees and Bonobos eds. Boesch C, Hohmann G, and Marchant L, Cambridge University Press.
  • Vigilant L (2002) Moving and mixing- Book review of Mapping Human History by Steve Olson. Science 297: 775
  • Vigilant L (2002) Technical challenges in the microsatellite genotyping of a wild chimpanzee population using feces. Evolutionary Anthropology S1: 162-165
  • Hofreiter M and Vigilant L (2003) Ancient human DNA: phylogenetic applications. Encyclopedia of the Human Genome, Nature publishing group.
  • Vigilant L (2003) Genetic perspectives on Pan troglodytes verus. In: The West African Chimpanzee: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan, eds. Kormos R, Boesch C and Bakarr M. IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group.
  • Vigilant L (2004) Quick Guide: Chimpanzees. Current Biology 14: R369-371.
  • Vigilant L and Bradley BJ (2004) Quick Guide: Gorillas. Current Biology 14: R826-827.
  • Boesch C, Boesch H, Vigilant L (2006) Cooperative hunting in chimpanzees: kinship or mutualism? In: Cooperation in Primates and Humans, eds. Kappeler PM, van Schaik C. Springer-Verlag Berlin. pp. 139-150.
  • Vigilant L (2007) Quick Guide: Bonobos. Current Biology 17: R74-75.
  • Knapp M, Hofreiter M, Vigilant L (2008) Ancient DNA: phylogenetic applications. Encyclopedia of Life Sciences, Wiley publishing group.