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Johanna Eckert

Postdoctoral Researcher

Department of Comparative Cultural Psychology
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology 
Deutscher Platz 6 
D-04103 Leipzig 

phone: +49 (0) 341 3550 406
email: johanna_eckert@[>>> Please remove the text! <<<]eva.mpg.de

Thesis title: The evolutionary roots of intuitive statistics

Research Interests
Curriculum Vitae
Research Awards & Funding

Research Interests

  • Animal cognition and behavior
  • Comparative psychology
  • Primates (great apes and monkeys)
  • Early cognitive development
  • Physical and social cognition
  • Statistical reasoning, probabilities and quantities
  • Zoo and Sanctuary 
  • Psychophysiological methods

Curriculum Vitae

Career & Education
11/2019 - presentPostdoctoral Researcher
Department of Comparative Cultural Psychology
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig
03/2019 - 11/2019Postdoctoral Researcher
Department of Anthropology
University of California, Los Angeles
10/2018 - 03/2019Visiting Scholar
Department of Behavioral Physiology & Sociobiology
University of Würzburg

10/2014 - 09/2018

PhD Biology
University of Göttingen; Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig
Thesis: “The evolutionary roots of intuitive statistics”
Advisors: Hannes Rakoczy, Josep Call
10/2012 - 09/2014M.Sc. Biology
University of Würzburg; German Primate Center, Göttingen
Thesis: “Social comparison in long-tailed macaques”
Advisors: Julia Fischer, Johannes Spaethe
10/2009 - 09/2012B.Sc. Biology
University of Würzburg
Thesis: “Visual learning in stingless bees” 
Advisor: Johannes Spaethe
Practical Experience
09/2019 - 10/2019Research stay at Kumamoto Sanctuary, WRC, Kyoto University, Japan
01/2019 - 02/2019
03/2012 - 06/2012 
Research stays at Tropical Field Station La Gamba, Costa Rica
01/2018 - 02/2018
04/2017 - 06/2017
10/2016 - 11/2016
Research stays at Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary, Uganda
08/2013 - 10/2013Research stay at African Elephant Sanctuary in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa (collaboration with University of Vienna)
02/2013 - 04/2013Internship: “Cognitive Research with long-tailed macaques”, Cognitive Ethology Laboratory, German Primate Center in Göttingen
  • German (native)
  • English (fluent)
  • Spanish (basic)


Ebel, S. J., Zeidler, H., Duguid, S., Eckert, J., Völter, C., Call, J., & Herrmann, E. (submitted). Food or tool - does social experience modulate object knowledge in children and chimpanzees?

Eckert, J., Sutherland, K., Rakoczy, J., & Haun, D. B. M. (in press). Early development of object individuation in nonhuman great apes. Child Development.

Bohn, M., Eckert, J., Hanus, D., Lugauer, B., Holtmann, J., & Haun, D. B. M. (2023). Great ape cognition is structured by stable cognitive abilities and predicted by developmental conditions. Nature Ecology & Evolution.
Open Access    DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Bohn, M., Eckert, J., Hanus, D., Lugauer, B., Holtmann, J., & Haun, D. B. M. (2022). Probing the structure, stability and predictability of great ape cognition. PsyArXiv.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Eckert, J., Bohn, M., & Spaethe, J. (2022). Does quantity matter to a stingless bee? Animal Cognition, 25, 617-629.
Open Access    DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Eckert, J., Rakoczy, H., Duguid, S., Herrmann, E., & Call, J. (2021). The ape lottery: Chimpanzees fail to consider spatial information when drawing statistical inferences. Animal Behavior and Cognition, 8(3), 305-324.
Open Access    DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Eckert, J., Winkler, S. L., & Cartmill, E. A. (2020). Just kidding: The evolutionary roots of playful teasing. Biology Letters, 16(9): 20200370.
Open Access    DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Eckert, J., Call, J., Hermes, J., Herrmann, E., & Rakoczy, H. (2018). Intuitive statistical inferences in chimpanzees and humans follow Weber’s law. Cognition, 180, 99-107.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Placì, S., Eckert, J., Rakoczy, H., & Fischer, J. (2018). Long-tailed macaques (Maraca fascicularis) can use simple heuristics but fail at drawing statistical inferences from populations to samples. Royal Society Open Science, 5(9): 181025.
Open Access    DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Eckert, J., Rakoczy, H., Call, J., Herrmann, E., & Hanus, D. (2018). Chimpanzees consider humans' psychological states when drawing statistical inferences. Current Biology, 28(12): e3, pp. 1959-1963.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Eckert, J., Rakoczy, H., & Call, J. (2017). Are great apes able to reason from multi-item samples to populations of food items? American Journal of Primatology, 79(10): e22693.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Schmitt, V., Federspiel, I., Eckert, J., Keupp, S., Tschernek, L., Faraut, L., Schuster, R., Michels, C., Bugnyar, T., Mussweiler, T., & Fischer, J. (2015). Do monkeys compare themselves to others? Animal Cognition. doi: 10.1007/s10071-015-0943-4

Spaethe, J., Streinzer, M., Eckert, J., May, S., & Dyer, A. (2014). Behavioural evidence of colour vision in free flying stingless bees. Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 200(6), 485-496. doi: 10.1007/s00359-014-0886-2

Research Awards & Funding

10/2019: Outstanding dissertation award of the Universitätsbund Göttingen e.V.

01/2019: Ulrike Goldschmid-Grant for research work at the tropical field station La Gamba, Costa Rica

10/2016: Outgoing-Grant of Leibniz-ScienceCampus Primate Cognition

07/2016: Abstract award of the Rovereto Workshop on Cognition and Evolution

03/2012: DAAD promos scholarship (German Academic Exchange Service)