Dana Pfefferle

Welfare and Cognition Group, Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory
German Primate Center


Research Interests

  • Animal Welfare
  • Cognition and Communication
  • Primate Social Behavior



Education and Employment

2015 - Senior Scientist & Coordinator of the Welfare and Cognition Group, Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, German Primate Center, Göttingen
2014Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept. of Evolutionary Anthropology, Duke University (USA)
2009 - 2013Postdoctoral Fellow MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology, Dept. of Primatology & University of Leipzig, Research Group Behavioural Ecology
2003 - 2008Dr. rer. nat. (Biology), University Leipzig



Selected Publications

Pfefferle D, Plümer S, Burchardt L, Treue S, Gail A (2018). Assessment of stress responses in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) to daily routine procedures in system neuroscience based on salivary cortisol concentrations. PLoS ONE 13 DOI: e0190190. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0190190.

Pfefferle D, Hammerschmidt K, Mundry R, Ruiz-Lambides A V, Fischer J, Widdig A (2016). Does the structure of female rhesus macaque coo calls reflect relatedness and/or familiarity? PLoS ONE 11, DOI:e0161133. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0161133.

Pfefferle D, Ruiz-Lambides A V, Widdig A (2015). Male rhesus macaques use vocalizations to distinguish female maternal, but not paternal, kin from non-kin. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 69: 1677-1686, DOI:10.2007/s00265-015-1979-9.

Pfefferle D, Kazem A J N, Brockhausen R R, Ruiz-Lambides A V, Widdig A (2014). Monkeys spontaneously discriminate their unfamiliar paternal kin under natural conditions using facial cues. Current Biology 24, DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2014.06.058.

Pfefferle D, Ruiz-Lambides A V, Widdig A (2014). Rhesus macaque females (Macaca mulatta) discriminate paternal siblings in playback experiments - support for phenotype matching. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B 281: 20131628, DOI:10.1098/rspb.2013.1628.

Higham J P, Pfefferle D, Heistermann M, Maestripierie D, Stevens M (2013). Signaling in multiple modalities in male rhesus macaques: sex skin coloration and barks in relation to androgen levels, social status, and mating behavior. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 67: 1457-1469, DOI:10.1007/s00265-013-1521-x.

Pfefferle D, Heistermann M, Hodges J K, Fischer J (2011). Influence of estrogen and progesterone on the structure of female Barbary macaque (Macaca sylvanus) copulation calls. International Journal of Primatology 32: 992-1006, DOI:10.1007/s10764-011-9517-8
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Pfefferle D, Brauch K, Heistermann M, Hodges J K, Fischer J (2008). Female Barbary macaque (Macaca sylvanus) copulation calls do not reveal the fertile phase but influence mating outcome. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences 275: 571-578, DOI 10.1098/rspb.2007.1499.

Brauch K, Pfefferle D, Hodges K, Möhle U, Fischer J, Heistermann M (2007). Female sexual behavior and sexual swelling size as potential cues for males to discern the female fertile phase in free-ranging Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus) of Gibraltar. Hormones and Behavior 52: 375-383, DOI 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2007.06.001.

Pfefferle D, Fischer J (2006). Sounds and Size – identification of acoustic variables that reflect body size in Hamadryas baboons (Papio hamadryas). Animal Behaviour 72: 43-51, DOI 10.1016/j.anbehav.2005.08.021.