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Virtual Lecture: The Secrets of Chimpanzee Society

October 25, 2022 All day

What can the private behavior of chimpanzee society teach us about human evolution and our own societal development?

Biologist Liran Samuni from Harvard University’s Department of Human Evolutionary Biology specializes in the study of underlying mechanisms of cooperation and intergroup relations in chimpanzees. In this lecture, she’ll explore some of the more fascinating aspects of group relationships in chimpanzees, from cooperation and conflict to group belonging, solidarity, and in-group support, providing a glimpse into how our own human behavior in societal systems might have occurred.

Dr. Samuni is the 2021 recipient of The Leakey Foundation’s Gordon P. Getty Award Laureate. This prestigious award is given to an individual who shows extraordinary originality and dedication in their intellectual and professional pursuits while exemplifying a multidisciplinary approach to human origins research.

Scientist Liran Samuni in the field

Dr. Liran Samuni is a behavioral ecologist and primatologist and currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Pan Lab, led by Dr. Martin Surbeck at the department of Human Evolutionary Biology in Harvard. Dr. Samuni is a Leakey Foundation grantee and the 2021 recipient of the Gordon Getty Award. She completed my PhD in Biology at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in 2019 and received her Masters in Zoology from the Tel-Aviv University in 2013. She studies the intersection between intergroup dynamics, cooperation, and social bonds in chimpanzees and bonobos, our closest living relatives, as windows into our past. She approaches these questions by observing wild chimpanzees at the Taï National Park, Côte d’Ivoire, and wild bonobos at the Kokolopori Bonobo Reserve, DR Congo.

Sponsored by:
The Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation
Camilla and George Smith
The Joan and Arnold Travis Education Fund

I [name], of [city, state ZIP], bequeath the sum of $[ ] or [ ] percent of my estate to L.S.B. Leakey Foundation for Research Related to Man’s Origins, Behavior & Survival, (dba The Leakey Foundation), a nonprofit organization with a business address of 1003B O’Reilly Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94129 and a tax identification number 95-2536475 for its unrestricted use and purpose.

If you have questions, please contact Sharal Camisa Smith sharal at 

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