The Ape Social Mind Lab
Catherine Crockford (Principal Investigator)


Catherine Crockford is a Director of Research at the ISC CNRS in Lyon and head of the The Great Ape Social Mind Lab. A central theme of her research is assessing socio-cognitive and communicative variation across primates to provide insights into the evolution of the primate social brain and primate societies. She obtained her PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and University of Leipzig in 2005 on the vocal output of wild chimpanzees. She conducted two post-doctoral positions, first with Dorothy Cheney and Robert Seyfarth at the University of Pennsylvania studying wild chacma baboon socio-cognition and stress in relation to social relationships, and second with Klaus Zuberbühler at St. Andrews University studying the socio-cognitive and neuroendocrine control of social relationships of wild chimpanzees, with a British Academy Fellowship. She then took up a Group Leader position at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and was awarded an ERC starter grant ‘ApeAttachement’ to examine maternal effects on social development of wild chimpanzees, before joining the CNRS. She is also a core PI in the Evolution of Brain Connectivity Project in collaboration with Max Planck Institutes for Evolutionary Anthropology and Human Cognitive Sciences. For further information, please see:

  • Aisha C. Bründl, Cèdric Girard-Buttoz, Tatiana Bortolato, Liran Samuni, Mathilde Grampp, Therese Löhrich, Patrick Tkaczynski, Roman M. Wittig, Catherine Crockford
    Maternal effects on the development of vocal communication in wild chimpanzees
    iScience, 105152, Vol: 25, (2022), doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2022.105152
  • Samuel Ellis, Rufus A. Johnstone, Michael A. Cant, Daniel W. Franks, Michael N. Weiss, Susan C. Alberts, Kenneth C. Balcomb, Claire H. Benton, Lauren J. N. Brent, Catherine Crockford, Eve Davidian, Richard J. Delahay, David K. Ellifrit, Oliver P. Höner, Magali Meniri, Robbie A. McDonald, Hazel J. Nichols, Faye J. Thompson, Linda Vigilant, Roman M. Wittig, Darren P. Croft
    Patterns and consequences of age-linked change in local relatedness in animal societies
    Nature Ecology & Evolution, 1766--1776, Vol: 6, (2022), doi: 10.1038/s41559-022-01872-2
  • Cèdric Girard-Buttoz, Tatiana Bortolato, Marion Laporte, Mathilde Grampp, Klaus Zuberbühler, Roman M. Wittig, Catherine Crockford
    Population-specific call order in chimpanzee greeting vocal sequences
    iScience, 104851, Vol: 25, (2022), doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2022.104851
  • Juliàn Leòn, Constance Thiriau, Clèmentine Bodin, Catherine Crockford, Klaus Zuberbühler
    Acquisition of predator knowledge from alarm calls via one-trial social learning in monkeys
    iScience, 104853, Vol: 25, (2022), doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2022.104853
  • Sylvain R. T. Lemoine, Liran Samuni, Catherine Crockford, Roman M. Wittig
    Parochial cooperation in wild chimpanzees: a model to explain the evolution of parochial altruism
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol: 377, (2022), doi: 10.1098/rstb.2021.0149
  • Cèdric Girard-Buttoz, Emiliano Zaccarella, Tatiana Bortolato, Angela D. Friederici, Roman M. Wittig, Catherine Crockford
    Chimpanzees produce diverse vocal sequences with ordered and recombinatorial properties
    Communications Biology, Vol: 5, (2022), doi: 10.1038/s42003-022-03350-8
  • Oliver Schülke, Simone Anzá, Catherine Crockford, Delphine De Moor, Tobias Deschner, Claudia Fichtel, Jan F. Gogarten, Peter M. Kappeler, Virgile Manin, Nadine Müller-Klein, Lea Prox, Baptiste Sadoughi, Sonia Touitou, Roman M. Wittig, Julia Ostner
    Quantifying within-group variation in socialitytextemdashcovariation among metrics and patterns across primate groups and species
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Vol: 76, (2022), doi: 10.1007/s00265-022-03133-5
  • Samuni, L., Crockford, C. & Wittig, R.M
    Group-level cooperation in chimpanzees is shaped by strong social ties.
    Nature Communications, 539, Vol: 12, (2021), doi:
  • Cèdric Girard-Buttoz, Patrick J. Tkaczynski, Liran Samuni, Pawel Fedurek, Cristina Gomes, Therese Löhrich, Virgile Manin, Anna Preis, Prince Valè, Tobias Deschner, Roman M. Wittig, Catherine Crockford
    Early maternal loss affects diurnal cortisol slopes in immature but not mature wild chimpanzees
    Elife, (2021), doi: 10.7554/eLife.64134
  • Sven Grawunder, Natalie Uomini, Liran Samuni, Tatiana Bortolato, Cèdric Girard-Buttoz, Roman M. Wittig, Catherine Crockford
    Chimpanzee vowel-like sounds and voice quality suggest formant space expansion through the hominoid lineage
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol: 377, (2021), doi: 10.1098/rstb.2020.0455
  • Prince D. Valè, Jean-Claude K. Bènè, Antoine K. N'Guessan, Catherine Crockford, Tobias Deschner, Inza Konè, Cèdric Girard-Buttoz, Roman M. Wittig
    Energetic management in wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) in Taï National Park, Côte d'Ivoire
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Vol: 75, (2020), doi: 10.1007/s00265-020-02935-9
  • Cornelius Eichner, Michael Paquette, Toralf Mildner, Torsten Schlumm, Kamilla Plèh, Liran Samuni, Catherine Crockford, Roman M. Wittig, Carsten Jäger, Harald E. Möller, Angela D. Friederici, Alfred Anwander
    Increased sensitivity and signal-to-noise ratio in diffusion-weighted MRI using multi-echo acquisitions
    NeuroImage, 117172, Vol: 221, (2020), doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.117172
  • Cèdric Girard-Buttoz, Martin Surbeck, Liran Samuni, Christophe Boesch, Barbara Fruth, Catherine Crockford, Gottfried Hohmann, Roman M. Wittig
    Variable use of polyadic grooming and its effect on access to social partners in wild chimpanzees and bonobos
    Animal Behaviour, 211--224, Vol: 168, (2020), doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2020.08.021
  • Catherine Crockford, Liran Samuni, Linda Vigilant, Roman M. Wittig
    Postweaning maternal care increases male chimpanzee reproductive success
    Science Advances, eaaz5746, Vol: 6, (2020), doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz5746
  • Verena Behringer, Anna Preis, Doris F. Wu, Catherine Crockford, Fabian H. Leendertz, Roman M. Wittig, Tobias Deschner
    Urinary Cortisol Increases During a Respiratory Outbreak in Wild Chimpanzees
    Frontiers in Veterinary Science, Vol: 7, (2020), doi: 10.3389/fvets.2020.00485
  • Patrick J. Tkaczynski, Alexander Mielke, Liran Samuni, Anna Preis, Roman M. Wittig, Catherine Crockford
    Long-term repeatability in social behaviour suggests stable social phenotypes in wild chimpanzees
    Royal Society Open Science, 200454, Vol: 7, (2020), doi: 10.1098/rsos.200454
  • Cèdric Girard-Buttoz, Martin Surbeck, Liran Samuni, Patrick Tkaczynski, Christophe Boesch, Barbara Fruth, Roman M. Wittig, Gottfried Hohmann, Catherine Crockford
    Information transfer efficiency differs in wild chimpanzees and bonobos, but not social cognition
    Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 20200523, Vol: 287, (2020), doi: 10.1098/rspb.2020.0523
  • Aisha C. Bründl, Patrick J. Tkaczynski, Grègoire Nohon Kohou, Christophe Boesch, Roman M. Wittig, Catherine Crockford
    Systematic mapping of developmental milestones in wild chimpanzees
    Developmental Science, Vol: 24, (2020), doi: 10.1111/desc.12988
  • Alexander Mielke, Catherine Crockford, Roman M. Wittig
    Predictability and variability of association patterns in sooty mangabeys
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, Vol: 74, (2020), doi: 10.1007/s00265-020-2829-y
  • Sylvain Lemoine, Anna Preis, Liran Samuni, Christophe Boesch, Catherine Crockford, Roman M. Wittig
    Between-Group Competition Impacts Reproductive Success in Wild Chimpanzees
    Current Biology, 312--318.e3, Vol: 30, (2020), doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.11.039
  • Patrick J. Tkaczynski, Verena Behringer, Corinne Y. Ackermann, Pawel Fedurek, Barbara Fruth, Cèdric Girard-Buttoz, Catherine Hobaiter, Sean M. Lee, Therese Löhrich, Anna Preis, Liran Samuni, Zinta Zommers, Klaus Zuberbühler, Tobias Deschner, Roman M. Wittig, Gottfried Hohmann, Catherine Crockford
    Patterns of urinary cortisol levels during ontogeny appear population specific rather than species specific in wild chimpanzees and bonobos
    Journal of Human Evolution, 102869, Vol: 147, (2020), doi: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2020.102869
  • Pawel Fedurek, Patrick Tkaczynski, Caroline Asiimwe, Catherine Hobaiter, Liran Samuni, Adriana E. Lowe, Appolinaire Gnahe Dijrian, Klaus Zuberbühler, Roman M. Wittig, Catherine Crockford
    Maternal cannibalism in two populations of wild chimpanzees
    Primates, 181--187, Vol: 61, (2019), doi: 10.1007/s10329-019-00765-6
  • Tkaczynski, P. J., Samuni, L., Sonnweber, R., Deschner, T., Vigilant, L., Löhrrich, T., Wittig, R. M., & Crockford, C.
    Mums the word: The lasting impacts of maternal loss on offspring survival, growth and reproductive success in wild chimpanzees.
    Folia Primatologica, 276-277, Vol: 91, (2019)
  • L. Samuni, A. Mielke, A. Preis, C. Crockford, R. M. Wittig
    Intergroup Competition Enhances Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus) In-group Cohesion
    International Journal of Primatology, 342--362, Vol: 41, (2019), doi: 10.1007/s10764-019-00112-y
  • Alexander Mielke, Catherine Crockford, Roman M. Wittig
    Snake alarm calls as a public good in sooty mangabeys
    Animal Behaviour, 201--209, Vol: 158, (2019), doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2019.10.001
  • Surbeck, M., Boesch, C., Girard-Buttoz, C., Crockford, C., Hohmann, G., & Wittig, R. M.
    Erratum: Comparison of male conflict behavior in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and bonobos (Pan paniscus), with specific regard to coalition and post-conflict behavior.
    American Journal of Primatology, e23075, Vol: 81, (2019)
  • Crockford, Catherine
    Why does the chimpanzee vocal repertoire remain poorly understood? - and what can be done about it
    394--409, (2019)

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