21.08.2019 - 18:24
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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

Wittig & Crockford Lab

Members of the Wittig & Crockford Lab winter 2018/2019 Last row (from left to right): Cedric Girard-Buttoz, Catherine Crockford, Roman Wittig, Alexander Mielke, Prince Vale, Janette Gleiche. Middle row  (from left to right): Sylvain Lemoine, Liran Samuni, Anna Preis, Kayla Kolff, Frauke Olthoff. Front row (from left to right): Patrick Tkaczynski, Erin Wessling, Virgile Manin.

In the field: Tatiana Bortolato, Mathilde Grampp, Mathieu Malherbe, Penelope Carlier

(missing: Clement Gba, Doris Wu, Ruth Sonnweber)

Members of the Wittig & Crockford Lab summer 2017 (starting from left): Janette Gleiche, Frauke Olthoff, Ramona Beuth, Clement Gba, Alexander Mielke, Roman Wittig, Catherine Crockford, Cedric Girard-Buttoz, Doris Wu, Isaac Schamberg (guest), Sylvain Lemoine.

In the field: Pawel Fedurek, Virgile Manin, Kamilla Pleh, Patrick Tkaczynski, Prince Vale

(missing: Therese Löhrich, Anna Preis, Liran Samuni, Ruth Sonnweber)

Members of the Wittig & Crockford Lab summer 2016 (starting from left): Veronika Beeck, Anna Preis, Pawel Fedurek, Patrick Tkaczynski, Catherine Crockford, Roman Wittig, Cedric Girrard-Buttoz, Liran Samuni.

In the field: Alexander Mielke, Therese Löhrrich, Sylvain Lemoine, Clement Gba, Ruth Sonnweber, Doris Wu.

Principle Investigators

Dr. Catherine Crockford
Co-director Taï Chimpanzee Project






Dr. Roman Wittig
Director Taï Chimpanzee Project

Postdoc Staff

Aisha Bründl, PhD
Assessing social cognition and communication capacities in wild chimpanzees









Dr. Cedric Girard-Buttoz

Variation in cooperation between wild chimpanzees and bonobos






Dr. Kathrin Kopp

Assessing social cognition and communication capacities in Zoo and Sanctuary chimpanzees



Dr. Alexander Mielke

Social cognition in mangabeys and chimpanzees





Anna Preis

Physiological costs of aggression and benefits of reconciliation in chimpanzees







Dr. Liran Samuni

Underlying mechanisms of cooperation and social bonds in wild chimpanzees - a behavioral and physiological perspective





Dr. Ruth Sonnweber

The influence of social cognition variation on social bonding capacities in chimpanzees





Patrick Tkaczynski, PhD

The influence of hormonal variation on social bonding capacities in chimpanzees



PhD Students

Clement Gba

Food competition and sociality in mangabeys

 (in Abidjan)




Kamilla Pleh

Localizing an infective source in the Taï National Park

 (at RKI)




Sylvain Lemoine

Intergroup relationships between four neighbouring chimpanzee communities





Virgile Manin

Link among sociality, oxytocin, glucocorticoids and health in wild chimpanzees





Prince Valé

Energy balance in wild chimpanzees





Doris Wu

Causes and effects of malaria in wild chimpanzee



MSc students

Kayla Kolff (Utrecht University, NL)

Indicators for social bonds in chimpanzees (@Zoo Leipzig)


Technical Staff

MPI EVA, Leipzig

  • Tina Knittel (TCP Behavioural Data - North group)
  • Francie Kaldun (TCP Behavioural Data - South & East group)
  • Jared Cobain (Lab Technician: Hormone analysis)
  • Janette Gleiche (Lab Technician: Hormone analyses)
  • Frauke Olthoff (Urine and Feacal Samples Data Bank)

TCP, Ivory Coast

  • Mathieu Malherbe (Camp Manager TCP)
  • Christelle Nihouarn (Research Assistant TCP, North group)
  • Alize Riou (Research Assistant TCP, South group)
  • Menno Breider (Research Assistant TCP, East group)
  • Morgen Rohee (Research Assistant TCP, Northeast group)

Research Staff TCP, Ivory Coast

  • Mathilde Grampp (Social cognition in chimpanzees and mangabeys)
  • Tatiana Bortolato (Chimpanzee Communication)
  • Penelope Carlier (Project vet)


2011 - 2015 Dr. Helen DeNys (University of Gent, Belgium)

2013 - 2015 Dr. Martin Surbeck (Deaprtment of Primatology, MPI EVA, Leipzig, GER)

2012 - 2016 Jan Gogarten, PhD (Center of Infection and Immunity, Columbia University, New York, USA)

2012 - 2016 Dr. Marleen Fröhlich (Department of Anthropology, University of Zürich, Zürich, CH)

2013 - 2016 Dr. Robert Power (MPI EVA)

2016 - 2018 Dr. Pawel Fedurek (Department of Psychology, University of Stirling, Stirling, UK)