Articles | Volume 2, issue 1
Primate Biol., 2, 73–80, 2015

Special issue: Hans-Jürg Kuhn and the German Primate Center

Primate Biol., 2, 73–80, 2015

Review article 04 Sep 2015

Review article | 04 Sep 2015

History of primate behavioural and ecological field research at the German Primate Center

E. W. Heymann1 and J. U. Ganzhorn2 E. W. Heymann and J. U. Ganzhorn
  • 1Verhaltensökologie & Soziobiologie, Deutsches Primatenzentrum, Kellnerweg 4, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
  • 2Zoologisches Institut, Universität Hamburg, Martin-Luther-King Platz 3, 20146 Hamburg, Germany

Abstract. This paper describes the background of the first behavioural and ecological field studies on primates conducted by German primatologists in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Field research by scientists from DPZ started in the middle 1980s at a time when this was not yet considered a major task for DPZ. Establishment of field research became possible due to recommendations from institutional and departmental evaluations and the formation of a working group "Ethology and Ecology", which was later transformed into a department in the 1990s. Since then, field research has gained momentum, and has become part of the research program of other DPZ departments. The DPZ is now unique, as it runs field sites in all major areas of primate distribution. The foresight and support of Hans-Jürg Kuhn during his period as scientific director was seminal and essential for the evolution of primate field research at DPZ.