From Guessing to Knowing: The Beauty of Physiological Measures

Institute Seminar by Verena Behringer

  • Date: Dec 12, 2023
  • Time: 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Verena Behringer
  • Rooted in the campus of the University of Gießen, my scientific journey commenced with research on the behavioral physiology of apes in the Frankfurt zoos. Following my diploma, I developed a specific interest in stress management by apes. In my PhD project, I used salivary cortisol as a marker and explored hormonal changes in the context of stressful, arousing, and entertaining events. Following this, I moved to the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI-EVA), expanded my research on zoo-housed apes and became engaged in field projects such as the LuiKotale Bonobo Project, and enrolled at the University of Dresden for habilitation. With funding from DFG, I am now at the German Primate Center in Göttingen, continuing with research on life history and the pace of life in bonobos and chimpanzees.
  • Location: Hybrid meeting
  • Room: Seminar room MPI-AB Bücklestrasse + Online
  • Host: Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior
  • Contact:
From Guessing to Knowing: The Beauty of Physiological Measures
In my presentation entitled "From Guessing to Knowing: The Beauty of Physiological Measures," I will present data showing the value of physiological measures to monitore life history in bonobos, chimpanzees, and other nonhuman primates. The presentation features the interplay of growth, reproduction, maintenance and mortality and ongoing long-term projects on the ontogeny of bonobos and chimpanzees. It also provides insight into the analytical challenges and the potential of physiological data for detecting health status in zoo-housed and wild apes. Integrating information from multiple physiologic measures, extracted from non-invasively sampled matrices, we can monitor developmental changes throughout life, assess individual immunological responses, and the ability (or inability) to cope with social stressors. My presentation underscores the immense potential that physiological data hold for life history research, health monitoring, and for modeling evolutionary scenarios.

The MPI-AB Seminar Series is open to members of MPI and Uni Konstanz. The zoom link is published each week in the MPI-AB newsletter.

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