Nora Slania

IMPRS Doctoral Student
Max Planck Research Group Schuppli

Main Focus

My research interests revolve around primate (including human) cognition and evolutionary processes behind cognitive functions. I'm especially interested in comparative work, at group and species level.

With my project I aim to better understand chimpanzee curiosity. Curiosity likely affected the development of human, as well as chimpanzee innovativeness, but the role of curiosity within the evolutionary trajectory of innovativeness and culture is not well understood. I will investigate the  interplay of neophobia, exploration tendencies, social input, and problem-solving skills in wild chimpanzees. This way, I plan to identify conditions and factors that enhance or suppress curiosity. My research is conducted at the Budongo Conservation Field Station and the Bugoma Primate Conservation Project.

Curriculum Vitae


  • 2020-2021: Master's project with the Technological Primate research group at the Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology on behavioural and archaeological signatures of nut-cracking across primates 
  • 2018-2021: MSc in early childhood research (University of Leipzig)
  • 2013-2017: BA in cognitive linguistics and philosophy (University of Heidelberg)
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