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Julia Riedel

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6
D-04103 Leipzig, Germany

phone: +49 341 3550 211
fax: +49 341 3550 299
email: riedel@[>>> Please remove the text! <<<]eva.mpg.de

Research interests
Curriculum Vitae

Research interests

Sociality and ranging in wild West African female chimpanzees

  • female chimpanzee dominance hierarchies
  • female chimpanzee social structure and relationships
  • female chimpanzee feeding competition and behavior
  • female chimpanzee ranging pattern
  • female chimpanzee fitness benefits


Curriculum Vitae

Born: March 11, 1980 in Zwickau, Germany

1998 – 2003 

Study of Biology (Zoology, Behavioral Physiology, Ecology, Psychology), University of Bayreuth and University of Leipzig, Department of Biological Sciences

Diploma thesis: "Object choice experiments with chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and bonobos (Pan paniscus)" [in German]

Prof. M. Tomasello, MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig
Prof. K. Schildberger, University Leipzig

2004 - present   

Dissertation: "Sociality and ranging in wild West African female chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus)"

Supervisor: Prof. C. Boesch, MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig

2012 - present 

Consultant of the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation, Tasks: fundraising, report writing, webpage updates, conservation education projects (Club P.A.N., School-projects Germany/Côte d’Ivoire)

Professional history


Volunteer for Ecology ("Freiwilliges Ökologisches Jahr") in the Zoo Görlitz, Germany

2001 - 2004   

Student assistant, MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany

2003 - 2004 

Volunteer for the Taї Chimpanzee Project Ivory Coast, Habituation of a chimpanzee group

2001 - present

Guided tours for school classes, students or other visitors, Zoo Leipzig, Germany

2004 - present

Member of the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation, Tasks: fundraising, conservation education projects (Club P.A.N., Partnerschoolproject Germany/Côte d’Ivoire)


Instructor for the seminar on Behavioral Ecology:
University of Leipzig Department of Biological Science, Germany


Instructor for the Seminar on Wild Chimpanzees:
Gymnasium Ortenberg, on the occasion of the Max Planck Society annual meeting in 2006, Germany


Research at Tchimpounga Sanctuary, Republic of Congo
Research on cognition in chimpanzees

2006 - present

Co-founded the Conservation Group of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. Projects have included a conservation education program with the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation (Club P.A.N.), primate-focused sustainable logging and primate reintroduction literature reviews.

Awards and honours

In 2011 Julia Riedel won the Yves Rocher Fondation „Trophée de femmes“ award in Germany for the Club P.A.N. environmental education project. The award honours women working with environmental projects with the common goal of creating a future worth living.



Boucher, R. D., Jaouen, K., Riedel, J., Boesch, C., Wittig, R. M., & Oelze, V. M. (2022). Evidence for delta Zn-66 values as indicators of meat consumption in the Tai chimpanzees. American Journal of Biological Anthropology, 177(S73), 19-19.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Heinicke, S., Ordaz-Németh, I., Junker, J., Bachmann, M. E., Marrocoli, S., Wessling, E. G., Byler, D., Cheyne, S. M., Desmond, J., Dowd, D., Fitzgerald, M., Fourrier, M., Goedmakers, A., Hernandez‐Aguilar, R. A., Hillers, A., Hockings, K. J., Jones, S., Kaiser, M., Koops, K., Lapuente, J. M., Maisels, F., Riedel, J., Terrade, E., Tweh, C. G., Vergnes, V., Vogt, T., Williamson, E. A., & Kühl, H. S. (2021). Open‐access platform to synthesize knowledge of ape conservation across sites. American Journal of Primatology, 83(1): e23213.
Open Access    DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Riedel, J. (2020). Dominance, sociality and meat-access in West African female chimpanzees. PhD Thesis, Universität, Leipzig.
BibTeX   Endnote   

Riedel, J., Polansky, L., Wittig, R. M., & Boesch, C. (2020). Social rank overrides environmental and community fluctuations in determining meat access by female chimpanzees in the Taï National Park, Côte d’Ivoire. PeerJ, 8: e8283.
Open Access    DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Riedel, J., Boesch, C., & Franz, M. (2019). Effects of large-scale knockouts on chimpanzee association networks. In C. Boesch, & R. M. Wittig (Eds.), The chimpanzees of the Taï forest: 40 years of research (pp. 301-315). Cambridge University Press.
BibTeX   Endnote   

Borchers, C., Boesch, C., Riedel, J., Guilahoux, H., Ouattara, D., & Randler, C. (2014). Environmental education in Côte d'Ivoire/West Africa: Extra-curricular primary school teaching shows positive impact on environmental knowledge and attitudes. International Journal of Science Education, Part B, 4(3), 240-259.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Wilson, M. L., Boesch, C., Fruth, B., Furuichi, T., Gilby, I. C., Hashimoto, C., Hobaiter, C. L., Hohmann, G., Itoh, N., Koops, K., Lloyd, J. N., Matsuzawa, T., Mitani, J. C., Mjungu, D. C., Morgan, D., Muller, M. N., Mundry, R., Nakamura, M., Pruetz, J., Pusey, A. E., Riedel, J., Sanz, C., Schel, A. M., Simmons, N., Waller, M., Watts, D. P., White, F., Wittig, R. M., Zuberbühler, K., & Wrangham, R. W. (2014). Lethal aggression in Pan is better explained by adaptive strategies than human impacts. Nature, 513(7518), 414-417.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Fahy, G. E., Richards, M. P., Riedel, J., Hublin, J.-J., & Boesch, C. (2013). Stable isotope evidence of meat eating and hunting specialization in adult male chimpanzees. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110(15), 5829-5833.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Fahy, G. E., Richards, M. P., Riedel, J., Hublin, J.-J., & Boesch, C. (2013). The role of the hunter: Stable isotope evidence of hunting in adult male chimpanzees. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 150(Suppl. 56), 121.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Kühl, H. S., N'Guessan, A., Riedel, J., Metzger, S., & Deschner, T. (2012). The effect of climate fluctuation on chimpanzee birth sex ratio. PLoS One, 7(4): e35610.
Open Access    DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Riedel, J., Franz, M., & Boesch, C. (2011). How feeding competition determines female chimpanzee gregariousness and ranging in the Taï National Park, Côte d'Ivoire. American Journal of Primatology, 73(4), 305-313.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Leendertz, S. A. J., Metzger, S., Skjerve, E., Deschner, T., Boesch, C., Riedel, J., & Leendertz, F. H. (2010). A longitudinal study of urinary dipstick parameters in wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) in Côte d'Ivoire. American Journal of Primatology, 72(8), 689-698.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Borchers, C., Riedel, J., Boesch, C., & Breuer, T. (2009). Deux programmes d'éducation environnementale pour la conservation des grands singes africains: Club Ebobo et Club P.A.N. La Revue de Primatologie, 1.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Riedel, J., Schumann, K., Kaminski, J., Call, J., & Tomasello, M. (2008). The early ontogeny of human – dog communication. Animal Behaviour, 75(3), 1003-1014.
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Bräuer, J., Kaminski, J., Riedel, J., Call, J., & Tomasello, M. (2006). Making inferences about the location of hidden food: Social dog - casual ape. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 120(1), 38-47.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Riedel, J., Buttelmann, D., Call, J., & Tomasello, M. (2006). Domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) use a physical marker to locate hidden food. Animal Cognition, 9(1), 27-35.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Kaminski, J., Riedel, J., Call, J., & Tomasello, M. (2005). Domestic goats, Capra hircus, follow gaze direction and use social cues in an object choice task. Animal Behaviour, 69(1), 11-18.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   


Max Planck Institute, Department of Primatology:

Wild Chimpanzee Foundation:

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Department of Developmental and Comparative Psychology:


Orang-Utans in Not e.V.: 

Bonobo Alive: 

Ngogo Chimpanzee Project: 

Yves Rocher Fondation: 


Alexander von Humboldt Gymnasium Werdau:

Johannes-Kepler-Gymnasium Leipzig: