Team of the LuiKotale Bonobo Project

Prof. Dr. Barbara Fruth

Group Leader
IMPRS Board Member
IMPRS Faculty
+49 7531-94505-20

I am a behavioural ecologist and evolutionary anthropologist, interested in bonobo social behaviour, their ecological constraints, their role within the ecosystem, and their life history. One of my foci is their food repertoire ranging from items ingested for nutritional to those used for medicinal purpose. For this, I follow an interdisciplinary approach integrating herbaria, analyses of plant’s phytochemical and pharmacological properties, and their effect on growth, health and fitness of individual bonobos.


Nutritional Ecology • Conservation • Life history • Community Ecology • Bonobos

 

Nadia Balduccio

Doctoral Student

I am an ecologist specialized in tropical ecosystems. I investigated a diverse array of wildlife in South America, Africa and Asia, putting conservation at the forefront of my work. In my PhD, I focus on the effect of human (Homo sapiens) hunting on mammal abundance and movement patterns. In the wider study site of the LuiKotale Bonobo Project, DRC, I assess the mammal community across areas that have been protected for different lengths of time. 


Conservation • Monitoring • Mammal Community Hunting

Prof. Dr. Barbara Fruth

Group Leader
IMPRS Board Member
IMPRS Faculty

I am a behavioural ecologist and evolutionary anthropologist, interested in bonobo social behaviour, their ecological constraints, their role within the ecosystem, and their life history. One of my foci is their food repertoire ranging from items ingested for nutritional to those used for medicinal purpose. For this, I follow an interdisciplinary approach integrating herbaria, analyses of plant’s phytochemical and pharmacological properties, and their effect on growth, health and fitness of individual bonobos.


Nutritional Ecology • Conservation • Life history • Community Ecology • Bonobos

Melodie Kreyer

Doctoral Student

I am a behavioral ecologist focusing on the impact of health and disease on animals’ behavior. In the context of the rapid environmental changes we observe in recent years, the study of health in wild animals has become of tremendous importance for their conservation. All great ape species are endangered or critically endangered, with the transmission of diseases from human to ape being one of the main threats. I am particularly interested in studying self-medicative behavior in bonobos (Pan paniscus), investigating how they manage to maintain and recover their health in their natural habitat, the evergreen rainforests in Central DRC. 


Bonobo Health Self-medication Sickness behavior

Kathrine Stewart

IMPRS Doctoral Student

I am a behavioral ecologist broadly interested in how group-living animals make decisions. Currently, I study foraging decisions by wild bonobos (Pan paniscus) to better understand how individuals optimize their nutrient intake and energetic costs as food availability varies, and how these individual foraging decisions influence group fission-fusion dynamics. I am also investigating how social and environmental factors influence groups’ decisions about when and how to interact with one another. 


Decision-making • Foraging Behavior • Bonobos 


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