18.07.2019 - 13:09
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Department of Primatology

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6
04103 Leipzig

phone: +49 (341) 3550 - 200
fax: +49 (341) 3550 - 299

Veronika Städele

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

phone: +49 341 3550 216
e-mail: veronika_staedele@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]eva.mpg.de


Most broadly speaking, I am interested identifying evolutionary adaptations of animals environment as well as uncovering the proximate mechanisms underlying these adaptations. During my early scientific training I investigated the role of molecular changes on embryological development and got insights into the science of EvoDevo which identifies the molecular basis of adaptive traits and their evolutionary roots via studying developmental processes. During my PhD I combined the analysis of population genetic and behavioural data and eventually became interested in dyadic social relationships and uncovering their adaptive value. Since July 2016, I have been a PostDoc in Dr. Linda Vigilant’s Molecular Genetics lab in the Department of Primatology.

Current project

Close associations of males and females that extend beyond the females’ fertile period are rare in mammals in general but relatively common in primates where many species live in multimale-multifemale groups. These groups are often characterized by polygynandrous mating and while males show heightened interest in females when females are fertile, differentiated relationships between certain males and females can form outside a reproductive context. In olive baboons (Papio anubis), lactating females form strong stable relationships with certain males. I assessed the paternity of infants by microsatellite genotyping and am going to combine this information with behavioural data to shed light on the adaptive significance of these relationships. The project is a collaboration with Professor Dr. Joan Silk who studies the olive baboons of the Uaso Ngiro Baboon Project on Kenya’s Laikipia Plateau.


Until June 2016, I was a PhD student in the Molecular Genetics lab in the Department of Primatology at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology under the supervision of Dr. Linda Vigilant. I used microsatellite genotyping from non-invasively collected samples to identify patterns of philopatry and dispersal among the levels of the hierarchically structured social system of the hamadryas baboon (Papio hamadryas) and studied the resulting patterns of association of kin. The project was conducted in collaboration with Dr. Larissa Swedell and the Filoha Hamadryas Project.