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Edward Wright

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Department of Primatology 
Deutscher Platz 6 
04103 Leipzig 

phone: +49 341 3550 255
email: edward_wrighteva.mpgde

Research Interests
Curriculum Vitae

Research interests

I am interested in the evolutionary basis of animal behaviour. How social and ecological pressures shape the diversity of animal behaviour at the individual and society levels. More specifically, how animals compete with each other for limited resources, such as food and mates, and how variance in competitive ability leads to skew in reproductive success and ultimately fitness.

Past research

My PhD work focused on the feeding ecology of mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei). The main goal of my research was to better understand the interplay between ecology, behavior and social organization in this species. I demonstrated that the costs of feeding competition are not equally shared among adult females in a group. Moreover, I also examined the proximate mechanisms which are at play. Lastly, we compare the energetics between the two mountain gorilla populations to better understand how variability in ecology gives rise to variation in behavior and life history.

Current research

My current research focuses on the relationships between body size, dominance rank and reproductive success in adult male and female mountain gorillas. 

This work is funded by the Max Planck Society and National Geographic.

Curriculum Vitae


2015-PresentPostdoc in the department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany

Correlates of Body Size in Male and Female Mountain Gorillas.
2010-2015PhD in Biology, department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany
Dissertation: “Feeding Ecology of Mountain Gorillas: impact of Dominance Rank, Food Resources and Seasonality”.
Supervisors: Dr. Martha Robbins & Prof. Dr. Christophe Boesch.
2003-2007BSc (Hons) Zoology with a modern language (French) 2.1, The University of Manchester, UK

Professional Experience


Coordinator & team leader of the 2011 Bwindi mountain gorilla census

Transboundary effort to ensure an accurate population estimate.


Field research assistant at the Loango National Park Great Ape Project, Gabon

Behavioural and ecological data collection and habituation of wild western lowland gorillas and chimpanzees.


Field research assistant at the Kalahari Meerkat Project, South Africa 

Behavioural and ecological data collection on meerkats.


Research Assistant, University of Rennes, France

PhD research assistant.


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