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Liran Samuni

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

phone: +49 341 3550 262
e-mail: liran_samuni@~@eva.mpg.de

Research interests
Curriculum Vitae

Research interests

My primary research interest is in the evolution of sociality, communication and social cognition. In particular, I am interested in the link between cooperation and the formation and maintenance of enduring social-bonds, in highly gregarious species that maintain complex social systems. Despite the prevalence of cooperative behaviour between kin and non-kin individuals among different taxa, and its role in shaping unique cognitive features, little is known regarding the underlying mechanisms that support it. Therefore, I find particularly interesting the interaction between physiology and behaviour, and its potential role in shaping and promoting extreme forms of positive social interactions, such as cooperative acts usually reserved for kin. 

I am currently investigating different aspects of cooperative behaviour, and its association with the strength and stability of social bonds, studying wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus), at the Taï National Park, Côte d’Ivoire. 

This project is funded by the Max Planck Society and the Minerva Stiftung

© L. Samuni

Curriculum Vitae


2013 – present

PhD candidate Leipzig School of Human Origins student at Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig Germany

Dissertation: “Underlying mechanisms of cooperation and social bonds in wild chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes): a behavioural and physiological perspective”
Supervisors: Dr. Roman Wittig, Dr. Catherine Crockford, and Dr. Tobias Deschner


MSc. Animal Behaviour
Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel

Thesis title: “The habituation process and its effects on a wild chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) community”
Supervisor: prof. Joseph Terkel

2007 – 2010 

Honours BSc. Life Science
Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel

Work and Field experience

2011 – 2012 

Budongo Conservation Field Station, Budongo forest, Uganda

Habituation team leader – Tracking and observing wild chimpanzees.
Field work included the collection of behavioural and demographic data, as well as recordings of chimpanzee vocalizations for acoustic analysis.

2005 – 2011

Zoological center “Safari”, Ramat-Gan, Israel

Zoo keeper – Preparing balanced diet, keeping the enclosure clean and safe, and providing environmental enrichment to captive zoo animals. 

Zoo teacher/guide – Teaching zoology, conservation and sustainability.


Israeli Zoo Association & Tel-Aviv university, Israel

Research assistant – Collecting behavioural data for a project investigating stereotypic and abnormal behaviour in captive non-human primates.


“Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi”, Ambu Ari, Bolivia

Volunteer – Rehabilitation wildlife refuge. Supporting sheltered animals and participating in environmental education programs at the surrounding communities.


This publication list is currently beeing updated. The process will be finished in a few minutes.


Wild chimpanzee foundation 

Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Budongo conservation field station

© C. Hobaiter, L. Samuni