Lise Meitner Group Technological Primates

The Technological Primates Research Group aims to investigate tool behaviour across primate species, environments and time. Our overall research focuses on technological evolution and the origin of tool use in our own species and all known tool using non-human primates.

Non-human primates can provide a model for tool use in early hominins. This offers a real world comparative framework to expand our knowledge regarding the adaptive significance of tool mediated behaviour within the primate lineage. Comparative studies across the primate order provide the opportunity to explore social and ecological variables associated with the emergence and development of tool use. Our group integrates new approaches that synthesise field and laboratory-based methods derived from the disciplines of primatology, archaeology, genetics, robotics and comparative psychology.  We are part of an extensive network bridging field sites of extant technological primates and archaeological sites of ancestral humans to comprehensively study the evolution of and behaviours associated with tool use. 

This group is led by Dr Lydia V. Luncz, for questions and enquiries please email:
Lydia_Luncz@[>>> Please remove the text! <<<]

Group staff

Administrative Staff
Technical Staff
  • Nora Slania



Key, A., Lauer, T., Skinner, M. M., Pope, M., Bridgland, D. R., Noble, L., & Proffitt, T. (2022). On the earliest Acheulean in Britain: First dates andin-situ artefacts from the MIS 15 site of Fordwich (Kent, UK). Royal Society Open Science, 9: 211904.
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Hansen, M. F., Gill, M., Briefer, E. F., Nielsen, D. R. K., & Nijman, V. (2022). Monetary value of live trade in a commonly traded primate, the long-tailed Macaque, based on global trade statistics. Frontiers in Conservation Science, 3: 839131.
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Carvalho, S., Wessling, E. G., Abwe, E. E., Almeida‐Warren, K., Arandjelovic, M., Boesch, C., Danquah, E., Diallo, M. S., Hobaiter, C., Hockings, K., Humle, T., Ikemeh, R. A., Kalan, A. K., Luncz, L. V., Ohashi, G., Pascual‐Garrido, A., Piel, A., Samuni, L., Soiret, S., Sanz, C., & Koops, K. (2022). Using nonhuman culture in conservation requires careful and concerted action. Conservation Letters, 15(2): e12860.
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Cissewski, J., & Luncz, L. V. (2021). Symbolic signal use in wild chimpanzee gestural communication?: A theoretical framework. Frontiers in Psychology, 12: 718414.
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Reeves, J. S., Proffitt, T., & Luncz, L. V. (2021). Modeling a primate technological niche. Scientific Reports, 11(1): 23139.
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Proffitt, T., Reeves, J. S., Benito-Calvo, A., Sánchez-Romero, L., Arroyo, A., Malaijivitnond, S., & Luncz, L. V. (2021). Three-dimensional surface morphometry differentiates behaviour on primate percussive stone tools. Journal of The Royal Society Interface, 18(184): 20210576.
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Reeves, J. S., Braun, D. R., Finestone, E. M., & Plummer, T. W. (2021). Ecological perspectives on technological diversity at Kanjera South. Journal of Human Evolution, 158: 103029.
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Proffitt, T., Bargalló, A., & de la Torre, I. (2021). The effect of raw material on the identification of knapping skill: A case study from Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, 29(1), 50-82.
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Arroyo, A., Falótico, T., Burguet-Coca, A., Expósito, I., Quinn, P., & Proffitt, T. (2021). Use-wear and residue analysis of pounding tools used by wild capuchin monkeys (Sapajus libidinosus) from Serra da Capivara (Piauí, Brazil). Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 35: 102690.
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Douglass, M., Davies, B., Braun, D. R., Tyler Faith, J., Power, M., & Reeves, J. S. (2021). Deriving original nodule size of lithic reduction sets from cortical curvature: An application to monitor stone artifact transport from bipolar reduction. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 35: 102671.
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Proffitt, T. (2021). Prehistoric Stone Tools of Eastern Africa: A Guide written by John J. Shea. Journal of African Archaeology, 19, 127-128.
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Pykles, B. C., & Reeves, J. S. (2021). Hawaiian Latter-day Saints in the Utah Desert: The negotiation of identity at Iosepa. Historical Archaeology, 55, 501-510.
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Luncz, L. V., & van de Waal, E. (2020). Cultural transmission in dispersing primates. In L. M. Hopper, & S. R. Ross (Eds.), Chimpanzees in Context (pp. 410-427). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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