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photo from MartinMartin Surbeck

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

phone: +49 341 3550 202
email: surbeck (at)

Current research

Reproductive strategies are believed to be one of the major forces that shape the variability we observe in social organization among mammals. My research focuses on mechanisms of male mate competition in bonobos and its implications for the social relationships among males and between the sexes. The aim of current studies is to elucidate the role of intra- and intersexual relationships in the contexts of competition and cooperation. Behavioural observations and corresponding endocrinological data are used to investigate underlying mechanisms of mate competition and male mating strategies in relation to social parameters such as age, dominance status, and kinship.


The work is currently supported by:


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Max Planck Society
Wenner-Gren Foundation
Wenner-Gren Foundation
Research Grant Research Grant