Currently, there is one postdoctoral researcher and three PhD students of the department of Anthropology of the University of Zürich (AIM) working at Suaq. The four main projects include:

  • The development of intelligence
  • The function(s) of a long-distance signal: the orangutan long call
  • Identifying cultural units in orangutans
  • Male-female relationships – from friendship to coercion
  • Communication – with all its modalities

Identifying cultural units in wild orangutans

The goal of this project is to identify cultural units in wild Bornean and Sumatran orangutans and recognize which factors affect the spread of innovations .

Male-female relationships – from friendship to coercion

This study aims at investigating and comparing male-female social interactions and association patterns of Sumatran and Bornean orangutans.

Multimodal communication in orangutans: redundancy versus complementarity

This projects aims to investigate the function and ontogeny of multimodal communication in wild and captive orangutans.

The development of intelligence

With this project we investigate how differences in opportunities for social learning affect the cognivie development of immatures and later skill sets.

The function(s) of a long-distance signal: the orangutan long call

The goal of this project is to find out what the funtions and information content of the orangutan long calls are, comparing Sumatran and Bornean orangutans.

Dissertation_B.Spillmann_2017