Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology & University of Leipzig
Prof. Dr. Anja Widdig
e-mail: anja_widdig@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]eva.mpg.de
phone.: ++49 (0)341 9736 707
Position: post-doc researcher
Research Group "Primate Behavioural Ecology"
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Department of Human Behavior, Ecology and Culture
Deutscher Platz 6
University of Leipzig Faculty of Life Science
Institute of Biology
Behavioral Ecology Research Group
phone: +49 341 97-36754
fax: +49 341 97-36848
e-mail: amici@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]eva.mpg.de
My main research interests lie in the evolutionary forces shaping the distribution of cognitive skills across vertebrates. So far, I have been working with several species (including humans) to better understand the relative contribution of social and ecological factors to the evolution of complex cognitive skills, the effects of social flexibility on cognition, and the distribution of prosocial and cooperative skills across taxa. In my current project, I will especially focus on the study of innovation and social learning in primates. In particular, I will analyze inter-specific differences in the emergence of innovative behaviour (as a result of different dominance styles in closely related species) and intra-specific differences in the emergence of innovative behaviour (as a result of inter-individual differences). My research approach combines behavioural observations and strictly controlled experimental procedures, both in the wild and in captivity. My other research interests involve several collaborations with other international institutions, and include the distribution of planning skills in primates, the emergence of innovation (and social learning) in mammals and reptiles, the development of new experimental approaches to test cognitive skills in wild birds and invertebrates, Neo-Whorfian effects and the role of language and culture in shaping human behavioural diversity.