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Dr Lydia L. Luncz

Technological Primates Research Group Leader
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6
04103 Leipzig

Email: Lydia_Lunczeva.mpgde
Office: B 2.33
 

Research interests

My research lies at the interface of primatology and archaeology. I am using archaeological methods to compare the development of technologies in wild primate species, including bearded capuchin monkeys in Brazil, long-tailed macaques in Thailand and Western chimpanzees in Ivory Coast, as well as early hominin artefacts in the Turkana Basin, Kenya. By studying non-human primates and ancestral humans, I seek to answer key questions about our cultural evolution. My work includes natural observations of primates in the wild, field experiments and excavations at sites of primates and early hominins. This comparative approach builds a novel framework to further investigate the evolution of technology in humans, our ancestors and non-human primates alike. Primate artefacts can be useful as a model for the behaviours of early hominin. The material record of these behaviours remain largely invisible without comparative analogues.
Since May 2020 I lead the Technological Primates Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. My research lab uses interdisciplinary approaches to investigate tool behaviour and the resulting material record across past and present technological primates

Publications

Luncz, L. V., Mundry, R., Soiret, S., & Boesch, C. (2019). Cultural diversity of nut-cracking behaviour between two populations of wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) in the Côte d'Ivoire. In C. Boesch, & R. M. Wittig (Eds.), The chimpanzees of the Taï forest: 40 years of research (pp. 194-220). Cambridge University Press.
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Sirianni, G., Luncz, L. V., & Gratton, P. (2019). An energetic model of foraging optimisation: Wild chimpanzee hammer selection for nut-cracking. In C. Boesch, & R. M. Wittig (Eds.), The chimpanzees of the Taï forest: 40 years of research (pp. 104-124). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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Luncz, L. V., Gill, M., Proffitt, T., Svensson, M. S., Kulik, L., & Malaivijitnond, S. (2019). Group-specific archaeological signatures of stone tool use in wild macaques. eLife, 8: e46961.
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Gruber, T., Luncz, L. V., Mörchen, J., Schuppli, C., Kendal, R. L., & Hockings, K. (2019). Cultural change in animals: A flexible behavioural adaptation to human disturbance. Palgrave Communications, 5: 9.
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Gumert, M. D., Tan, A. W. Y., Luncz, L. V., Chua, C. T., Kulik, L., Switzer, A. D., Haslam, M., Iriki, A., & Malaivijitnond, S. (2019). Prevalence of tool behaviour is associated with pelage phenotype in intraspecific hybrid long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis aurea × M. f. fascicularis). Behaviour, 156, 1083-1125.
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Proffitt, T., Haslam, M., Mercader, J., Boesch, C., & Luncz, L. V. (2018). Revisiting Panda 100, the first archaeological chimpanzee nut-cracking site. Journal of Human Evolution, 124, 117-139.
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Svensson, M. S., Nekaris, K., Bearder, S. K., Bettridge, C. M., Butynski, T. M., Cheyne, S. M., Das, N., de Jong, A. Y., Luhrs, A. M., Luncz, L. V., Maddock, S. T., Perkin, A., Pimley, E., Poindexter, S. A., Reinhardt, K. D., Spaan, D., Stark, D. J., Starr, C. R., & Nijman, V. (2018). Sleep patterns, daytime predation, and the evolution of diurnal sleep site selection in lorisiforms. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 166(3), 563-577.
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Luncz, L. V., Sirianni, G., Mundry, R., & Boesch, C. (2018). Costly culture: Differences in nut-cracking efficiency between wild chimpanzee groups. Animal Behaviour, 137, 63-73.
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Stewart, F. A., Piel, A. K., Luncz, L. V., Osborn, J., Li, Y., Hahn, B. H., & Haslam, M. (2018). DNA recovery from wild chimpanzee tools. PLoS One, 13(1): e0189657.
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Haslam, M., Falótico, T., & Luncz, L. V. (2018). Recognizing culture in wild primate tool use. In L. Di Paolo, F. Di Vincenzo, & F. De Petrillo (Eds.), Evolution of Primate Social Cognition (pp. 199-209). Cham: Springer.
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Proffitt, T., Luncz, L. V., Malaivijitnond, S., Gumert, M., Svensson, M. S., & Haslam, M. (2018). Analysis of wild macaque stone tools used to crack oil palm nuts. Royal Society Open Science, 5(3): 171904.
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Luncz, L. V. (2017). “Latent solutions” are untestable for early stone tools [Reply to Tennie et al. 2017, Current Anthropology, 58 (5), 664-672]. Current Anthropology, 58(5), 656-657.
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Luncz, L. V., Tan, A., Haslam, M., Kulik, L., Proffitt, T., Malaivijitnond, S., & Gumert, M. (2017). Resource depletion through primate stone technology. eLife, 6: e23647.
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Falótico, T., Spagnoletti, N., Haslam, M., Luncz, L. V., Malaivijitnond, S., & Gumert, M. (2017). Analysis of sea almond (Terminalia catappa) cracking sites used by wild Burmese long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis aurea). American Journal of Primatology, 79(5): e22629.
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Haslam, M., Hernandez-Aguilar, R. A., Proffitt, T., Arroyo, A., Falótico, T., Fragaszy, D., Gumert, M., Harris, J. W. K., Huffman, M. A., Kalan, A. K., Malaivijitnond, S., Matsuzawa, T., McGrew, W., Ottoni, E. B., Pascual-Garrido, A., Piel, A., Pruetz, J., Schuppli, C., Stewart, F., Tan, A., Visalberghi, E., & Luncz, L. V. (2017). Primate archaeology evolves. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 1, 1431-1437.
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Luncz, L. V., Svensson, M. S., Haslam, M., Malaivijitnond, S., Proffitt, T., & Gumert, M. (2017). Technological response of wild macaques (Macaca fascicularis) to anthropogenic change. International Journal of Primatology, 38(5), 872-880.
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Luncz, L. V., Proffitt, T., Kulik, L., Haslam, M., & Wittig, R. M. (2016). Distance-decay effect in stone tool transport by wild chimpanzees. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 283(1845): 20161607.
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Luncz, L. V., Falótico, T., Pascual-Garrido, A., Corat, C., Mosley, H., & Haslam, M. (2016). Wild capuchin monkeys adjust stone tools according to changing nut properties. Scientific Reports, 6: 33089.
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Haslam, M., Luncz, L. V., Pascual-Garrido, A., Falótico, T., Malaivijitnond, S., & Gumert, M. (2016). Archaeological excavation of wild macaque stone tools. Journal of Human Evolution, 96, 134-138.
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Haslam, M., Luncz, L. V., Staff, R. A., Bradshaw, F., Ottoni, E. B., & Falótico, T. (2016). Pre-Columbian monkey tools. Current Biology, 26(13), R521-R522.
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Tan, A. W. Y., Luncz, L. V., Haslam, M., Malaivijitnond, S., & Gumert, M. D. (2016). Complex processing of prickly pear cactus (Opuntia sp.) by free-ranging long-tailed macaques: Preliminary analysis for hierarchical organisation. Primates, 57(2), 141-147.
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Falótico, T., Luncz, L. V., Svensson, M., & Haslam, M. (2016). Cashew nut positioning during stone tool use by wild bearded capuchin monkeys (Sapajus libidinosus). Folia Primatologica, 87(6), 392-397.
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Proffitt, T., Luncz, L. V., Falótico, T., Ottoni, E. B., de la Torre, I., & Haslam, M. (2016). Wild monkeys flake stone tools. Nature, 539(7627), 85-88.
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Luncz, L. V., Wittig, R. M., & Boesch, C. (2015). Primate archaeology reveals cultural transmission in wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus). Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences, 370(1682): 0140348.
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Luncz, L. V., & Boesch, C. (2015). The extent of cultural variation between adjacent chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus) communities: A microecological approach. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 156(1), 67-75.
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Luncz, L. V., & Boesch, C. (2014). Tradition over trend: Neighboring chimpanzee communities maintain differences in cultural behavior despite frequent immigration of adult females. American Journal of Primatology, 76(7), 649-657.
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Luncz, L. V. (2014). Comparative analysis of cultural variation among neighboring chimpanzee communities. PhD Thesis, Univ., Leipzig.
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Luncz, L. V., & Boesch, C. (2013). Conformity to group specific tool use behaviour among three neighbouring chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus) communities in Cote d'Ivoire. Folia primatologica, 84(3-5), 298.
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Luncz, L. V., Mundry, R., & Boesch, C. (2012). Evidence for cultural differences between neighboring chimpanzee communities. Current Biology, 22(10), 922-926.
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