Department of Primatology
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6
phone: +49 (0)341 3550 - 200
fax: +49 (0)341 3550 - 299
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Department of Primatology
Deutscher Platz 6
D-04103 Leipzig, Germany
phone: +49 341 3550 245
e-mail: verena_behringer@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]eva.mpg.de
I am currently working on the "growing up"- porject. One major goal of the “growing up” project is to compare developmental changes in bonobos and chimpanzees, to identify similarities and differences during their ontogeny, and relate this to corresponding information from modern humans. Choosing physiological markers (steroids like testosterone and DHEA, thyroid homrones, neopterin, klotho and IGFBP-3) and somatic traits (forearm length measures) that are representative for somatic growth, reproduction, and maintenance, supports the second major goal, to construct life history (LH) profiles of the two ape species. Adding published data from modern humans facilitates the third goal, the detection of LH traits of the last common ancestor of hominoid and hominid primates. The “growing up” project contributes to the existing information: Firstly, it is the first comparative study on the development of bonobos and chimpanzees that is based on a large data set from living individuals that can be transposed from cross-sectional into longitudinal analyses. Second, it includes multiple physiological markers, and combines these measures with data on somatic growth. Third, it includes extensive validation of physiological markers that had not yet been explored in nonhuman primates, or that had been measured in matrices that require invasive sampling. With these non-invasive methods, the project paves the way for elaborate studies of development and LH of apes living in natural environments.
Since August 2010 Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Department of Primatology, Leipzig, Germany.
- Group living and social stress and coping mechanisms
- Ontogeny, aging, and life history
- Nutrition and energy balance
- Measuring and quantifying physiological marker system on stress (glucocorticoids, alpha amylase), reproduction (sex steroids), nutrition (C-peptide), health (Neopterin), development and aging (thyroid hormones, sex steroids, DHEAS, soluble alpha klotho, IGFBP-3)
- Assay validation and -modification
- Extraction methods e.g., to analyze hormones in serum, saliva, feces, and urine
|Since January 2014||Postdoctoral fellow Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Department of Primatology, Leipzig, Germany.|
|July – December 2013||Postdoctoral fellow Postdoctoral fellow Royal Zoological Society Antwerp, Belgium (KMDA)|
|August 2010 – July 2013||Postdoctoral fellow Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Department of Primatology, Leipzig|
|January 2007 – March 2011||JUSTUS-LIEBIG-UNIVERSITY GIESSEN|
PhD, magna cum laude.
"Influence of different keeping conditions of the behavior and stress hormones in zoo housed gorilla (Gorilla g. gorilla), Sumatran orangutans (Pongo abelii) and pygmy chimpanzees (Pan paniscus)"
Relevant professional experience
|June – July 2010||ST. ANDREWS UNIVERSITY|
Volunteer involved in observation and experimental studies with chimpanzee, squirrel monkeys and capuchins.
Learning NODLUS observer software.
|October – January 2010||UNIVERSITY ZÜRICH and FRANKFURT ZOO|
Scientific project in cooperation with Dr. Thomas Geissmann, Anthropological Institute, University Zürich-Irchel, Switzerland.
Title: “Self-cover behavior in Primates“
|March 2006 – January 2007||JUSTUS-LIEBIG-UNIVERSITY GIESSEN|
Title: “Investigation of the regurgitation and reingestion behavior in three zoo housed great ape species (Gorilla g. gorilla, Pongo abelii, Pan paniscus“
|Since January 2008||ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY FRANKFURT (ZSF)|
|May until June 2009||FRANKFURT ZOO|
|March 2007 – March 2010||JUSTUS-LIEBIG-UNIVERSITY GIESSEN|
|2006 – 2010||UNIVERSITY OF VETERINARY MEDICINE VIENNA, Austria|
Hormon analyzing in apes saliva with an Enzyme-Immuno-Assay (EIA) as well preparing fecal samples for EIA.
|August 2006||FRANKFURT ZOO|
Zoo veterinary trainee
|August 2003||OPEL-ZOO, Georg von Opel-Freigehege für Tierforschung e.V. (Georg von Opel outdoor enclosure for animal research) |
Professional and Public Service
Ad hoc reviewer:
- Animal Welfare
- Clinical Interventions in Aging
- General and Comparative Endocrinology
- International Journal of Primatology
- Journal of Zoo & Aquarium Research
- Methods in Ecology and Evolution
- Scientific reports
- Zoo Biology
|February 2010||EUPRIM-NET, Network Activity 4, German Primate Center, Göttingen |
|2008||EUPRIM-NET, Network Activity 4, German Primate Center, Göttingen |
|2007||EUPRIM-NET, Network Activity 4, German Primate Center, Göttingen |
|February 2007||DOCTORATE PROGRAMME OF GERMAN ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY (DZG)-PROFESSIONAL GROUP BEHAVIOR BIOLOGY, Göttingen, German Primate Center and University Göttingen|
|28. February 2007||BASIC WORKSHOP: ANIMAL-TRAINING, Frankfurt Zoo|
|24. January 2004||INSITUTE OF ANTHROPOLOGY, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen|
Primate ecology course
|2003 – 2004||JUSTUS-LIEBIG-UNIVERSITY GIESSEN|
“Methods for animal experiments for biologists “ to obtain a license for laboratory animal science
|Summer 2003||JUSTUS-LIEBIG-UNIVERSITY GIESSEN|
Student assistance, Institute for General and Special Zoology
|since 2018||GfP (German Society for Primatology)|
|2010-2016||RETTET DEN DRILL e.V. (Society for the prevention of drills)|
|June 2009||FRANKFURT ZOO and ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY FRANKFURT|
Volunteer, “Gorilla Symposiums“
Year of the Gorilla, 9.-11. June 2009
|2007 – 2009||FRANKFURT ZOO “Dreamnight at the zoo”|
|September 2008||ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY FRANKFURT|
Volunteer, conference: “Making Conservation Count/ One Goal with Different Approaches to Making Parks Work“
|2007||ASSOCIATION OF GERMAN ZOOKEEPERS|
Member of the “Working group Madagascar“, Association of German zookeepers (BDZ) for EAZA- Madagascar- Campagne
Behringer, V.; Clauß, W.; Hachenburger, K.; Kuchar, A.; Möstl, E.; Selzer, D. (2009). Effect of giving birth on the cortisol level in a bonobo groups (Pan paniscus) saliva, Short Communication, Primates, Volume 50, 2009, p. 190-193
Behringer, V.; Hachenburger, K.; Knott, C.; Selzer; D. (2008). What Is a Gorilla’s Most-Loved Toy?. Shape of Enrichment, Volume 17, Issue 1-2, p. 6-11
|2015||“Within arm's reach - how and why to measure arm length in bonobos?” Annual CRC Zoo Research Symposium. 20 November 2015. ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium|
“Age-related changes in urinary thyroid hormones indicate heterochrony in development in bonobos and chimpanzees“ 84th annual meeting, American Association of Physical Anthropologists, 24-28 March 2015, St. Louis, Missouri, USA
“Growing up - Hormonal correlates during postnatal development in bonobos and chimpanzees in comparison to modern humans” Seminar talk, Department of Developmental and Comparative Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany
|2014||"Hormones Reflect Life History Profiles: Evidence from Comparative Studies on Humans and Apes" |
Invited talk, Max-Planck Institute Tübingen, Germany
"Growing up - Hormonal changes during development in bonobos and chimpanzees in comparison to humans"
Invited speaker Max-Planck LeadNet, 26/27 May 2014, Mainz, Germany
"Growing up – Hormonal changes during development in bonobos and chimpanzees"
Invited talk, Anthropology Department, Indiana University Bloomington, USA
"Age-related changes in urinary thyroid hormones indicate heterochrony in development in bonobos and chimpanzees"
83rd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, 8-12 April 2014, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
"Growing up – Hormones and development in humans and apes" Lecture series "Zoo experience, adventure conservation", 2 October 2013, Frankfurt, Germany
“What hormones can tell us about development in bonobos and chimpanzees” Annual CRC Zoo Research Symposium. 29 November 2013. ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium
|2012||"Adrenarche in bonobos (Pan paniscus). Ontogenetic development in bonobos and chimpanzees." |
Conference "Non-invasive Monitoring of Hormones" (ISWE 2012), 23. – 26. September 2012, Wien, Österreich
|2010||"Living together- Zusammen leben?!" V. Behringer |
11. Primate Caretaker Meeting Apenheul, Apeldoorn, Netherland, 07.-10. October 2010
"Sumatra Orang-Utans – stressiger Speichel?" (Sumatran Orangutans – stressful saliva?) V. Behringer
Meeting of “Naturschutzbotschafter” (Conservation Ambassadors), Frankfurt, 17. February 2010
|2009||"Verhaltens- und Stressuntersuchung bei Großen Menschenaffen" (Analyzing behavior and stress in great apes), V. Behringer |
Annual meeting research group for wild biology in Giessen, 18. Mai 2009, Gießen
|2008||"Stress of zoo housed apes" and "Moving apes, Ape transfer in Zoo Frankfurt" V. Behringer |
EUPRIM-Net course „Stress and its Implication on Primate Welfare”
13.10. – 17.10.2008 at the German Primate Centre in Göttingen
|2007||"Evolution of Enrichment at Ape house Zoo Frankfurt, Germany", C. Knott & V. Behringer |
8. International „Environmental Enrichment“ Conference, 5.-10. August 2007, Vienna, Austria
|2006||"Primatenschatzkisten – Ideen zur Beschäftigung von Menschenaffen" (Treasure chests for primates – Ideas to enriching the life of great apes), V. Behringer |
9. Primate Caretaker Meeting Schönbrunn, Vienna, Austria, 27.-29. October 2006
|2015|| “Measuring urinary neopterin level variation as a health status indicator in bonobos and chimpanzees” Behringer, V. & Deschenr, T Conference “Non-invasive Monitoring of Hormones” (ISWE 2015), 12. – 14. October 2015, Berlin, Germany|
“Indication of heterochrony in development of bonobos and chimpanzees from age-related changes in one thyroid hormone” Behringer, V.; Deschner, T.; Murtagh, R.; Stevens, J.M.G.; Hohmann, G. 14th Conference of the Gesellschaft fuer Primatologie, Leipzig, Germany
|2011||"Stress affects salivary alpha-Amylase activity in bonobos" |
Behringer, V.; Deschner, T; Möstl, E.; Selzer, D.; Hohmann, G. 8th Internationale Conference on behaviour, physiology and genetics of wildlife, 14.-17. September 2011, Berlin
|2009||"Cortisol and cortisone measurement in Great Apes’ (Gorilla gorilla, Pan paniscus and Pongo abelii) saliva – one hydrogen atom makes a big difference!" |
Behringer, V; Clauss, W; Hachenburger, K; Kuchar, A; Möstl, E; Selzer, D.
3rd International Congress European Federation of Primatologists, 12.-15. August 2009, Zürich, Switzerland
Financial support: European Federation for Primatology
"Stress research in three great ape species (Gorilla g. gorilla, Pan paniscus and Pongo abelii)"
Behringer, V; Hachenburger, K; Knott, K; Kuchar, A; Möstl, E; Selzer, D.
11th Conference of the Association of Primatology, 24. – 26. February 2009, Hannover
"Eine Geburt ist für die ganze Bonobogruppe ein aufregendes Ereignis" (Giving birth is for the hole Bonobogroup a amazing event)
Behringer, V; Clauß, W; Hachenburger, K; Kuchar, A; Selzer, D; Möstl, E.
New-Year Conference 2009 University of veterinary medicine Vienna, Austria
|2007||"A bulimic Bonobo? Observation of an eating disorder of a Bonobo (Pan paniscus) at Frankfurt Zoo" Behringer, V; Selzer, D. |
Doctorate programme of German Zoological Society
(DZG)-Professional group Behavior Biology, Göttingen, German Primate Center and University Göttingen, 17.02.-18.02.2007
|2006||"Influence of an environmental enrichment feeding devices on the behaviour of Great Apes at Frankfurt Zoo" |
Behringer, V; Mühl, T; Zöllmann, M; Brandt, H; Clauß, W; Selzer, D.
99. German Zoological Society (DZG) Conference, Münster, 16.09.- 20.09.2006