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Contact

Department of Human Behavior, Ecology and Culture

Deutscher Platz 6
04103 Leipzig

phone: +49 (0)341 3550 - 315
fax: +49 (0)341 3550 - 333

e-mail: cissewski@eva.mpg.de


Barbara Fruth

Guest Scientist

Associate Professor (Reader) in Primate Behaviour and Conservation, Liverpool John Moores University, UK

Director of the LuiKotale Bonobo Project (LKBP), Centre for Research and Conservation, Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp, B

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Department of Human Behavior, Ecology and Culture
Deutscher Platz 6
D-04103 Leipzig, Germany

phone: +49 341 3550 829
office: Alte Messe, room 2.80 
e-mail: fruth@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]eva.mpg.de

Research Interests
Curriculum Vitae
Publications
Links

Research Interests

I am a behavioural ecologist and evolutionary anthropologist. Since 1990, I am studying wild bonobos (Pan paniscus) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Bonobos evolved striking peculiarities contrary to biological paradigms, as well as to its sister species, the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes). They have a social organisation, with cooperation and bonding among females despite female exogamy; a remarkable mating behaviour, with a broad spectrum of sexual interactions including social sex; moderate aggression, with a resulting female dominated social structure; extensive food sharing of animals and plants; and a wondrous lack of material culture.

I am interested in bonobo social behaviour, their ecological constraints and their role within the ecosystem. I am specifically interested in their life history with focus on their health status as a direct measure of fitness. In this context, I am investigating the transition from plants and other items ingested as food to those used for medicinal purpose. I follow an interdisciplinary approach integrating herbaria, analyses of plant’s phytochemical and pharmacological properties, and their effect on growth, health and fitness of individual bonobos.

Another focus is conservation. The LuiKotale Bonobo project is very remote, and adjacent to Salonga National Park, a World Heritage Site of Nature. In close collaboration with the local population, I develop strategies conserving habitat and species suitable as model for large scale protection.


 

Curriculum Vitae

Name
Barbara Ingrid Fruth

Citizenship
German

Recent Positions & Professional Experiences

Since June 2016 Reader/Associate Professor for Primate Behaviour and Conservation; Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, Faculty of Science, School of Natural Sciences and Psychology, UK

Project Director, LuiKotale Bonobo Project (LKBP) of the Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp, Belgium / Centre for Research and Conservation (CRC/KMDA) 

Associate researcher, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPIEVAN) Leipzig, Germany / Department of Human Behavior, Ecology and Culture (since January 2018); Department of Developmental and Comparative Psychology (till December 2017) & Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) Munich, Germany / Department Biology II
 
2014-2016Senior Lecturer (Privatdozentin = PD) & Principal Investigator, Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) Munich, Germany / Department Biology II

Project Director, LuiKotale Bonobo Project (LKBP) of the Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp, Belgium / Centre for Research and Conservation (CRC/KMDA) 

Associate researcher, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPIEVAN) Leipzig, Germany / Department of Developmental and Comparative Psychology
2014Co-Curator, Rainforest-Exhibition "Regenwald" (Rainforest) in the Museum "Lokschuppen Rosenheim", Germany
2010-2013Senior Research Scientist, long-term research projects & Co-Director of the LKBP at MPIEVAN / Department of Primatology
2004-2010Research group leader, project „The Cuvette Centrale”as a reservoir of medicinal plants" and Co-Director of the LKBP; MPIEVAN / Dept.Prim.
2001-2004Research Scientist and group leader, as above; Max Planck Institute for Behavioural Physiology (MPIV), Seewiesen, Germany.

Education

2013Habilitation1LMU Munich (Mentor: Prof. Dr. Gisela Grupe & Prof. Dr. Benedikt Grothe); “Challenging traditional concepts: Bonobo (Pan paniscus) behaviour and the quest for their habitat conservation by sustainable use of plants”.
1996-2001

1995-1997
Post-DocMPIV Seewiesen (Mentor: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wickler)
1990-1995Dr. rer. nat. (Ph.D.)LMU, Munich (Mentor: Prof. Dr. Gerhard Neuweiler) & Max-Planck Research Unit for Human Ethology and Max-Planck Human Ethology Filmarchive, Erling, Germany (Mentor: Prof. Dr. Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt); “Nests and Nest Groups in Wild Bonobos (Pan paniscus): Ecological and Behavioural Correlates.”
1988-1990Diploma2 (M.Sc.)LMU, Munich (Mentors: Prof. Dr. Gerhard Neuweiler; external: Prof. Dr. Christian Vogel & Dr. Christophe Boesch): "Nests, Nutcracking Sites and Population Density of Chimpanzees: Studies on Regional Differences in the South Western Part of Ivory Coast (Rép. de Côte d'Ivoire).”
1983-1988Studies in BiologyMajors: ecology, human and animal ethology; Minors: botany, palaeontology.

Research & Fieldwork

2001 to dateCo-director, LuiKotale Bonobo Project: Continuation of the management and scientific supervision of long-term projects on bonobo socio-ecology, human eco-ethology, ethno-botany, floral diversity, and medicinal plants. Focus on prevalence and control of diseases including self-medication of wild bonobos in DRC. Founding, management and scientific supervision of projects with focus on environmental education and conservation. Research & Conservation Collaborations with Zoological Gardens in Europe
2001-2010Founding, management and scientific supervision of the project „The Cuvette Centrale as a reservoir of medicinal plants", with focus on the biodiversity in the central Congo basin, its anthropogenic use and potential for sustainable use. 
Founding and co-direction of the research project on bonobo socio-ecology (Pan paniscus) at LuiKotale, DRC
1997-2000Experimental investigations of bonobo dominance behaviour across different German zoos. Conceptual design and tutorial for diploma and master theses; teaching. Funding: LMU Munich & Max-Planck-Society (MPG)
1995-1997Continuation of long-term project on bonobo socio-ecology in DRC. Research and teaching in Oxford (OH) USA, Seewiesen and Munich. Funding: Miami University Oxford (OH) & MPG
1990-1995Founding and co-direction of research project on bonobo socio-ecology (Pan paniscus) at Lomako, DRC (then, Zaïre); Work was honoured in 1997 with the research award: “Therese-von-Bayern Preis”. Conceptual design and tutorial for diploma and master theses. Funding: MPG
1988-1990Research in the frame of the project "Tradition in West African Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)" at Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire) (directors: Dr. Ch. & H. Boesch, Univ. of Zurich). Funding: German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) & Leakey Foundation

 

1 The "right to lecture" (venia legendi) in German-speaking universities is traditionally restricted to those, who, in addition to possessing a PhD, acquire the degree of "Habilitation". The award is not itself a tenure decision (and thus, carries the title "Privatdozent" (=PD)). However, the habilitation has traditionally been a prerequisite for tenure.

2 Prior to the Bologna-reform, a Diplomarbeit at German Universities was an empirical research project typically conducted over a 1–2 yr period, without taught components, resulting in a dissertation of typically twice the size of a master's thesis at a UK university, leading to the degree of "Diplom-Biologe" / "Diplom-Biologin"

Publications

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1998

Fruth B. & W.C. McGrew. 1998. Resting and Nesting in Primates: Behavioral Ecology of Inactivity. American Journal of Primatology 46: 3-5.

Fruth B. 1998: Invited comment on "The social behavior of chimpanzees and bonobos: Empirical evidence and shifting assumptions" by Craig B. Stanford. Current Anthropology 39: 408-409. [pdf]

McGrew W.C. & B. Fruth (editors). 1998. Nesting and Resting in Primates: Behavioral Ecology of Inactivity; Wiley-Liss.

 

1996

Fruth B. & G. Hohmann. 1996. Nest Building in the Great Apes: The Great Leap Foreward? in: Great Ape Societies. ed. W.C. McGrew, L. Marchant and T. Nishida. Cambridge University Press, NY. Pp. 225-240. [pdf]

Fruth B. & W.C. McGrew. 1996. Invited comment on "Meat Eating, Sociality and Home Bases" by Rose, L. & F. Marshall. Current Anthropology, 37, 324-325. [pdf]

Hohmann G. & B. Fruth. 1996. Food sharing and status in unprovisioned bonobos (Pan paniscus): preliminary results. in: Food and The Status Quest.ed. P. Wiessner and W. Schiefenhövel. Harvard: Marion Berghahn Press. Pp. 47-67. [pdf]

 

1995

Berle A., Fruth B. & L. Van Elsacker. 1995. Nestbuilding behavior in captive bonobos (Pan paniscus). Primate Report42: 43-45.

Fruth B. 1995. Nests and Nest Groups in Wild Bonobos (Panpaniscus): Ecological and Behavioural Correlates. Aachen: Shaker Verlag. 187 pp. [pdf]

Fruth B., Hohmann G. 1995. Nahrungsteilung bei freilebenden Bonobos (Pan paniscus). Jahrbuch der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft: 177-180 [pdf]

Gerloff U., Schlöttere, C., Rassmann K., Rambold I., Hohmann G., Fruth, B. & D. Tautz. 1995. Amplification of hypervariable simple sequence repeats (microsatellites) from excremental DNA of wild living bonobos (Pan paniscus). Molecular Ecology4: 515-518. [pdf]

Hohmann G. & B. Fruth. 1995. Loud calls in great apes: Sex-differences and social correlates. In: Current Topics In Primate Vocal Communication. ed. Zimmermann E., Newman J. & U. Jürgens. Plenum Press. London. Pp. 161-184. [pdf]

Marchesi P., Marchesi N., Fruth B. & C. Boesch. 1995. Census and distribution of chimpanzees in Côte d'Ivoire. Primates 36: 591-607. [pdf]

 

1994

Boesch C., Marchesi P., Marchesi N., Fruth B. & F. Joulian. 1994. Is nut cracking in wild chimpanzees a cultural behaviour? Journal of Human Evolution26: 325-338. [pdf]

Fruth B. & G. Hohmann. 1994. Comparative analyses of nest building behavior in bonobos (Pan paniscus) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). in: Chimpanzee Cultures. ed. R.W. Wrangham, W.C. McGrew, F.B.M. de Waal & P.G.Heltne; Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. Pp. 109-128. [pdf]

Fruth B. & G. Hohmann. 1994. Nests: living artefacts of recent apes? Current Anthropology35: 310-311. [pdf]

Hohmann G. & B. Fruth. 1994. Structure and use of distance calls in wild bonobos (Pan paniscus). International Journal of Primatology15: 767-782. [pdf]

 

1993

Fruth B. & G. Hohmann. 1993. Ecological and behavioural aspects of nest building in wild bonobos (Pan paniscus). Ethology94: 113-126. [pdf]

Hohmann G. & B. Fruth. 1993. Field observations on meat sharing among bonobos (Pan paniscus). Folia Primatologica, 60: 225-229. [pdf]