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Sebastian Sosa

Research staff

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

e-mail: sebastian_sosa@[>>> Please remove the text! <<<]eva.mpg.de

personal webpage   Google Scholar   ResearchGate  

Research interest
Curriculum Vitae

Research interest

I am a junior researcher studying animal societies, with a specific focus on the underlying mechanisms that contribute to the emergence of distinct social structures and their adaptive properties. Questions such as how individuals interact within these societies and how social structures evolve to address challenges posed by natural selection (such as group cohesion and hierarchical organization) are currently being explored through multilevel and multi-methodological analyses, including social networking and referential statistics. These analyses aim to comprehend the structural processes within animal societies, as well as the ecological and evolutionary implications on these structures and their emergent characteristics.

Curriculum Vitae

Work experience

2023-2025Postdoctoral researcher at the department of Human Behaviour, Ecology and Culture, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany
2021-2022 Jan.Parental leave
2018-2021 SeptPostdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Advanced Studies of the University of Strasbourg (USIAS), Department of Ecology, Physiology & Ethology (DEPE), Strasbourg 
2016-2018Postdoctoral researcher at the Primate & Evolutive Anthropology laboratory, School of Sociology and Anthropology, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China. 


2010-2014Ph.D. (summa cum laude) in Ethology, Primatology & Social Network, at Grupo de Conducta Adaptativa e Interaccion. Study on the structuration of a group of nonhuman primate Macaca sylvanus, with Vicenç Quera and Francesc Salvador, University of Barcelona, Spain. 
2009-2010Master’s degree II in Human and animal behaviour, University of Rennes I, France. 
2008-2009Master’s degree I in ethology, University of Paris XIII, France. 
2007-2008Bachelor's degree in biology, Paul Sabatier University, Toulouse, France. 


Research experience

Nov 2017-Jan 2018DEPE, Strasbourg, France. Development of the R package ANTs, with Prof. Cédric Sueur. 
Jan-Jun 2010EthoS, Rennes, France. Study on the temperament in cockroaches Blatella germanica and Nauphoeta cinerea, with Dr. Colette Rivault. 
Feb-May 2009LECD, Nanterre, France. Study on the influence of anxiety on human voice acoustic parameters, with Dr. Michel Kreutzer and Dr. Frédérique Hallé 
August 2008CRCA, Toulouse, France. Study on the memory in mice, with Dr. Jonathan Ceccom. 
May-July 2008CRCA, Toulouse, France. Study on spatial cognition in ant Gigantiops destructor, with Dr. Guy Beugnon, Dr. Antoine Wystrach and Dr. Ken Cheng. Article published in Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes. 


Supervision of students and field assistants

2019C. FerreiraMaster student
Cascading Effects of Conspecific Aggression on Oxidative Status and Telomere Length in Zebra Finches. Published in Physiological and Biochemical Zoology. 
2019T. MaedaMaster student
Aerial drone observations identified a multilevel society in feral horses. Published in Scientific reports. 
2017-2018Z. LiaoMaster student
The influence of age on wild rhesus macaques' affiliative social interactions. American journal of primatology. 
Published in American Journal of Primatology. 


2019Bachelor and Master     Social Network Analysis in ethology and ecology 10h
2017Bachelor and Master     Introduction to in natura data collection methods and scientific literature critical review 120h


Scholarships and grants

  • GDR grant (2018): 1000 euros for XXXVIII Sunbelt Conference. 


  • Credits of Ecology (Ecological Society of America) cover picture for the Nov. 2021 issue.

Statistical softwares

• R        • Python       • SPSS         • Minitab         • STATISTICA         • SAS         •SIENA         • Ucinet  

Field work abilities

Behavioural observations, trapping, capture, manipulation, installation of biologgers (accelerometers), blood samples and morphological measurements. 

Field work 

Post-doctorate 2019Sheep River Wildlife Sanctuary, Alberta, Canada, 3 months, ~720h of observations. 
Post-doctorate 2017:Shangchuan Island, Guandong, China, 2 months, supervision of Master and Bachelor students, ~400h of observations + 20h teaching (in natura data collection methods and scientific literature critical review). 
PhD 2011-2013Rocamadour, France, La Forêt des Singes, 11 months over 3 years, =1920h of observations. 


  • French
  • Spanish
  • English 


Photography (http://www.s-sosa.com/photographs), Swimming


*Equivalent contribution

Viblanc, V. A., Criscuolo, F., Sosa, S., Schull, Q., Boonstra, R., Saraux, C., ... & Dobson, F. S. (2022). Telomere dynamics in female Columbian ground squirrels: recovery after emergence and loss after reproduction. Oecologia, 199(2), 301-312.

Quque, M., Ferreira, C., Sosa, S., Schull, Q., Zahn, S., Criscuolo, F., ... & Viblanc, V. A. (2022). Cascading effects of conspecific aggression on oxidative status and telomere length in zebra finches.

Sosa, S., Jacoby, D. M. P., Lihoreau, M., & Sueur, C. (2021). Animal social networks: Towards an integrative framework embedding social interactions, space and time. (IF: 7.09)

Hämäläinen, L., Hoppitt, W., Rowland, H. M., Mappes, J., Fulford, A. J., Sosa, S., & Thorogood, R. (2021). Social transmission in the wild can reduce predation pressure on novel prey signals. Nature Communications, 12(1), 1–11. (IF: 12.12)

Giraud, G., Sosa, S., Hambuckers, A., Deleuze, S., Wandia, I. N., Huynen, M.-C., Poncin, P., & Brotcorne, F. (2021). Effect of Infant Presence on Social Networks of Sterilized and Intact Wild Female Balinese Macaques (Macaca fascicularis). Animals, 11(9), 2538. (IF: 2.75)

Maeda, T., Ochi, S., Ringhofer, M., Sosa, S., Sueur, C., Hirata, S., & Yamamoto, S. (2021). Aerial drone observations identified a multilevel society in feral horses. Scientific Reports, 11(1), 1–12. (IF: 3.99)

Puga-Gonzalez, I., Sueur, C., & Sosa, S. (2021). Null models for animal social network analysis and data collected via focal sampling: Pre-network or node network permutation? Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 12(1), 22–32. https://doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.13400. (IF: 7.09)

Sosa, S., Sueur, C., & Puga-Gonzalez, I. (2020). Network measures in animal social network analysis: their strengths, limits, interpretations and uses. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, . https://doi.org/10.1111/2041-210x.13366. (IF: 7.09)

Sosa, S., Dobson, F. S., Bordier, C., Neuhaus, P., Saraux, C., Bosson, C., Palme, R., Boonstra, R., & Viblanc, V. A. (2020). Social stress in female Columbian ground squirrels: density-independent effects of kin contribute to variation in fecal glucocorticoid metabolites. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 74(4), 1–12. (IF: 2.10)

Sosa, S., Puga-Gonzalez, I., Hu, F., Pansanel, J., Xie, X., & Sueur, C. (2020). A multilevel statistical toolkit to study animal social networks: the Animal Network Toolkit Software (ANTs) R package. Scientific Reports, 10(1), 12507. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-69265-8. (IF: 3.99)

Thiery, G., Guy, F., Lazzari, V., & Sosa, S. O. (2020). Graph theory applied to dental topography helps isolating and comparing the sharpest tools of primate molars. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 171, 282. (IF: 2.01)

Puga-Gonzalez, I., Sosa, S., & Sueur, C. (2019a). Social networks analyses in primates, a multilevel perspective. Primates, 60(3), 163–165. (IF: 1.36)

Puga-Gonzalez, I., Sosa, S., & Sueur, C. (2019b). Social style and resilience of macaques’ networks, a theoretical investigation. Primates, 60(3). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10329-018-0684-5. (IF: 1.36)

Kawazoe, T., & Sosa, S. (2019). Social networks predict immigration success in wild Japanese macaques. Primates, 60(3). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10329-018-0702-7. (IF: 1.36)

Ivan Puga-Gonzalez, Sueur, C. Sosa, S. (2019). Editorial. Primates, 60, 233–246. (IF: 1.36)

Sueur, C., Romano, V., Sosa, S., & Puga-Gonzalez, I. (2019). Mechanisms of network evolution: a focus on socioecological factors, intermediary mechanisms, and selection pressures. Primates, 60(3), 167–181. (IF: 1.36)

Sosa, S. O., Pelé, M., Debergue, É., Kuntz, C., Keller, B., Robic, F., Siegwalt-Baudin, F., Richer, C., Ramos, A., & Sueur, C. (2019). Impact of Group Management and Transfer on Individual Sociality in Highland Cattle (Bos taurus). Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 6(JUN). https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2019.00183. (IF: 2.03)

*Liao, Z., Sosa, S., Wu, C., & Zhang, P. (2018). The influence of age on wild rhesus macaques’ affiliative social interactions. American Journal of Primatology, 80(2). https://doi.org/10.1002/ajp.22733. (IF: 2.01)

Puga-Gonzalez, I., Ostner, J., Schülke, O., Sosa, S., Thierry, B., & Sueur, C. (2018). Mechanisms of reciprocity and diversity in social networks: a modeling and comparative approach. Behavioral Ecology. (IF: 2.69)

Balasubramaniam, K. N., Beisner, B. A., Berman, C. M., de Marco, A., Duboscq, J., Koirala, S., Majolo, B., MacIntosh, A. J., McFarland, R., Molesti, S., Ogawa, H., Petit, O., Schino, G., Sosa, S., Sueur, C., Thierry, B., de Waal, F. B. M., & McCowan, B. (2018). The influence of phylogeny, social style, and sociodemographic factors on macaque social network structure. American Journal of Primatology, 80(1). https://doi.org/10.1002/ajp.22727. (IF: 2.01)

*Borgeaud, C., Sosa, S., Sueur, C., & Bshary, R. (2017). The influence of demographic variation on social network stability in wild vervet monkeys. Animal Behaviour, 134, 155–165. (IF: 2.67)

Sosa, S., Zhang, P., & Cabanes, G. (2017). Social networks dynamics revealed by temporal analysis: An example in a non-human primate (Macaca sylvanus) in “La Forêt des Singes.” American Journal of Primatology, 79(6). https://doi.org/10.1002/ajp.22662. (IF: 2.01)

Puga-Gonzalez, I., Ostner, J., Schuelke, O., Sosa, S., Thierry, B., & Sueur, C. (2017). Proximate Mechanisms Underlying Primates’ Complex Social Networks: A Modelling and Comparative Approach. FOLIA PRIMATOLOGICA, 88(2), 126–127. (IF: 1.06)

Boucherie, P. H., Sosa, S., Pasquaretta, C., & Dufour, V. (2017). A longitudinal network analysis of social dynamics in rooks corvus frugilegus: Repeated group modifications do not affect social network in captive rooks. Current Zoology, 63(4). https://doi.org/10.1093/cz/zow083. (IF: 2.07)

Sosa, S., Beisner, B., Balasubramaniam, K., Sueur, C., Zhang, P., & McCowan, B. (2017). A Mathematical Model to Predict Hierarchical Rank in Macaca mulatta and M. sylvanus. Folia Primatol, 88, 77–188. (IF: 1.06)

*Borgeaud, C., Sosa, S., Bshary, R., Sueur, C., & van de Waal, E. (2016). Intergroup variation of social relationships in wild vervet monkeys: a dynamic network approach. Frontiers in Psychology, 7. (IF: 2.13)

Sosa, S. (2016). The influence of gender, age, matriline and hierarchical rank on individual social position, role and interactional patterns in Macaca sylvanus at ‘La Forêt des singes’: A multilevel social network approach. Frontiers in Psychology, 7. (IF: 2.13)

Sosa, S. (2015). Using individual attributes to predict hierarchical position in a Macaca sylvanus group at “La forêt des singes”, Rocamadour. Behavioural Processes, 111. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2014.12.011. (IF: 2.01)

Sosa, S. (2014). Structural architecture of the social network of a non-human primate (Macaca sylvanus): a study of its topology in La Forêt des Singes, Rocamadour. Folia Primatologica, 85(3), 154–163. (IF: 1.06)

Wystrach, A., Cheng, K., Sosa, S., & Beugnon, G. (2011). Geometry, features, and panoramic views: Ants in rectangular arenas. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 37(4), 420–435. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0023886. (IF: 2.30)