Comparative Cognition

In 1871 Darwin famously wrote that, in his opinion, there was no fundamental difference between man and the higher mammals in their mental faculties. In the past decades this claim has driven much empirical investigation and, by and large, the evidence supports Darwin’s hypothesis. One mental faculty, however, has been particularly difficult to study empirically with little progress being made until recently: the faculty of language. A primary focus of our research efforts is to explore and understand the biological origins of the different mechanisms required for language and culture. To this end, we mainly study non-human primates in their natural habitats.

Chimpanzés de Budongo
© Florian Moellers



Bourse Willi Mueller


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Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships


We welcome applications from qualified students for PhD and Postdoc positions in our group under the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships scheme.
Please only apply if you have the relevant academic background
and credentials, i.e. a BSc or MSc in Biology / Anthropology / Psychology with relevant research experience in animal or human behaviour.


More information:






the annual Swiss conference on ecology, evolution, systematics and conservation


Voyage en Afrique du Sud


Good news:
Leakey Foundation
Research Grant
awarded to

Corinne Ackermann


New: Tai Monkey Project website


New Scientist:
Bonobos know when others are being treated unfairly - and react


L'énigme de l’orang-outan qui s'esclaffe, LE TEMPS 


Bonobo news:

Podcast on Radio RTS.ch


La communication chez
les bonobos
, RJB.ch

Le rire est-il propre
de l'homme ?


Prof Robert Seyfarth
Origins of Language


Updated news on
Budongo !

Budongo web page


Monkey See, Monkey Speak
News from the Campbell's monkeys