Breakfast Male Lemur
Research Scientists at Berenty
HOMEPAGE of the Berenty Website The Berenty Reserve Tourism Website The Ako Project

DPZ logo  To find out more information regarding researchers of
The Göttingen-Group, visit their website:
the German Primate Center

or contact them directly at:
Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology Unit
German Primate Center (DPZ)
Kellnerweg 4
D - 37077 Goettingen

Phone: ++49 551 3851 470
Fax: ++49 551 3851 291

Dr. Claudia Fichtel - profile

Claudia Fichtel at Berenty

Dr. Claudia Fichtel -
researching Vocal flexibility in Verreaux's sifakas

Much recent research in animal communication has focused on intra- and interpopulation comparisons to investigate whether signals are subject to modification and social transmission.

In the domain of primate vocal communication, learning can influence the production, usage, or comprehension of vocalizations. It is generally assumed that the production of the basic acoustic structure of vocalizations is predominately genetically determined, but subtle acoustic variation in calls between groups can arise as a result of social learning. The ability to use vocalizations in an appropriate context appears to be partly innate and partly socially learned, and thus more flexible. Call comprehension appears to be more flexible and influenced by experience and learning than call production and usage. Thus, inter-population comparisons provide an important tool to investigate the vocal flexibility in primates.

Comparisons of Verreaux's sifakas responses to alarm calls between populations in Kirindy and Berenty which are characterized by different settings of predators revealed clear differences, suggesting that this differential comprehension and usage of alarm calls might be the result of social learning processes that caused changes in signal content in response to changes in the set of predators to which these populations have been exposed since they last shared a common ancestor (Fichtel & Kappeler 2011).

read more about Claudia at her DPZ homepage, Claudia Fichtel, MSc., PhD.

Claudia's PhD students Anna Schnöll and Iris Dröscher also do research at Berenty. See below...

The Göttingen-Group/ Iris Dröscher and Anna Schnöll - Students of Claudia Fichtel

Iris Dröscher
is a student of Claudia Fichtel, researching Behavioural and feeding ecology of a small nocturnal folivorous primate (Lepilemur leucopus).

Iris Dröscher
read more about Iris at her DPZ
homepage, Iris Dröscher, Mag.rer.nat, MSc

Anna Schnöll is a student of Claudia Fichtel, researching Influence of social tolerance on social learning and cooperation.

"The aim of my PhD project is to investigate how differences in social structure influence (1) social tolerance among group members and (2) social learning, i.e. the spread of new foraging techniques. Therefore I want to compare the hierarchal ringtailed lemurs (Lemur catta) in Berenty Private Reserve in South Madagascar with the egalitarian redfronted lemurs (Lemur rufifrons) in Kirindy Forest in East Madagascar."

Anna Schnöll
  read more about Anna at her DPZ homepage, Anna Schnöll, MSc