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Department of Archaeology



I obtained a Bachelor in Biology at the University of Bourgogne, in Dijon and a Master Science in Ecophysiology and Ethology at the University of Strasbourg, where I worked on the evolution of cooperation in South African vervet monkeys. I was research coordinator and field site manager in Nigeria in a primate conservation organisation, where I conducted primates’ reintroduction and ecological studies. I managed a field site in the Gunung Palung National Park, Borneo, Indonesia, where I undertook phenology studies and vertebrate surveys for the University of California, Davis. I did my PhD at the Department of Primatology from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI-EVA), in Leipzig. I spent three years in Ivory Coast, within the Taï Chimpanzee Project, managing the field site and collecting behavioural data on wild chimpanzees. I obtained my PhD in 2020 and continued as a postdoctoral associate within the MPI-EVA for a year.


I’m a behavioural ecologist and primatologist interested in the relationships between neighbouring groups of wild primates, in particular how, from a proximate and ultimate perspective, intergroup competition constitutes a relevant selective pressure on adaptations such as sociality, cooperative skills, cognitive abilities and territorial strategies. I’m thus particularly interested in research questions related to the evolution of warfare, xenophobia and parochial altruism, in primates, throughout human evolution and in other social animals. I’m also interested in immediate and long-term consequences of intergroup competition on behaviour and reproductive success, as well as the relationships between adaptive territorial strategies and tactics and landscape utilization. I’m collaborating with the Taï Chimpanzee Project where I study patterns of interactions between several neighbouring communities within a population of wild Western chimpanzees, using long-term behavioural and ranging data.

Key Publications

Key publications: 

Lemoine, S. R. T., Samuni, L., Crockford, C., & Wittig, R. M. (2022). Parochial cooperation in wild chimpanzees: A model to explain the evolution of parochial altruism. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 377(1851), 20210149.

Oelze, V. M., Wittig, R. M., Lemoine, S., Kühl, H., & Boesch, C. (2020). How isotopic signatures relate to meat consumption in wild chimpanzees: a critical reference study from Taï National Park, Côte d’Ivoire. Journal of Human Evolution, 146: 102817.

Lemoine, S., Boesch, C., Preis, A., Samuni, L., Crockford, C., & Wittig, R. M. (2020). Group dominance increases territory size and reduces neighbour pressure in wild chimpanzees. Royal Society Open Science, 7(5): 200577.

Lemoine, S., Preis, A., Samuni, L., Boesch, C., Crockford, C., & Wittig, R. M. (2020). Between-group competition impacts reproductive success in wild chimpanzees. Current Biology, 30(2), 312–318.

Lemoine, S., Crockford, C., & Wittig, R. M. (2019). Spatial integration of unusually high numbers of immigrant females into the south group further support for the bisexually-bonded model in Tai chimpanzees. In C. Boesch, & R. M. Wittig (Eds.), The chimpanzees of the Taï forest: 40 years of research (pp. 159–177). Cambridge University Press.

McCarthy, M., Despres-Einspenner, M.-L., Samuni, L., Mundry, R., Lemoine, S., Preis, A., Wittig, R. M., Boesch, C., & Kühl, H. S. (2018). An assessment of the efficacy of camera traps for studying demographic composition and variation in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). American Journal of Primatology, 80(9): e22904.

Fruteau, C., Lemoine, S., Hellard, E., Damme, E. v., & Noë, R. (2011). When females trade grooming for grooming: Testing partner control and partner choice models of cooperation in two primate species. Animal Behaviour, 81(6), 1223–1230.

Lemoine, S., Crockford C., Wittig, R. M. (2020). Between-group competition and group dominance effects on chimpanzee reproductive success. Animal Behavior Society 2020 Virtual Conference.

Lemoine, S., Boesch, C., Crockford, C., & Wittig, R. M. (2019). Effects of between-group competition on fitness in wild chimpanzees. 16th Conference of Gesellschaft für Primatologie, Göttingen, Germany.

Lemoine, S., Boesch, C., Crockford, C., & Wittig, R. M. (2018). Selective potential of between-group competition in wild chimpanzees. International Society for Behavioral Ecology Conference, Minneapolis, USA.

Oelze, V. M., Wittig, R. M., Lemoine, S., Kühl, H. S., & Boesch, C. (2018). Meat eating frequencies in wild chimpanzees - The effect of absolute meat amounts, hunt participation and female reproductive state on the delta N-15 ratios of hair. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 165(S66), 192-192. 87th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, Austin, USA.

Lemoine S, Tooze Z, Coulson C. (2010). First reintroduction of mona guenons in Southeast Nigeria: lessons learnt, implications and benefits for captive care and conservation of Cercopithecines species. Compassionate Conservation Symposium 2010, Oxford, UK.

Tooze Z, Lemoine S. (2008). Restoring primate communities: Reintroduction of mona monkeys (Cercopithecus mona) to a protected community forest in Southeast Nigeria. International Primate Society Congress 2008, Edinburgh, UK.

Teaching and Supervisions


B2    Human Ecology and Behaviour

B17  Our Extended Family: Primate Biology and Behaviour

Job Titles

Unestablished Lecturer in Primatology

General Info

Not available for consultancy
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Human Evolution
Field Methods


Person keywords: 
Primatology, Chimpanzees, Intergroup competition, Cooperation, Territorial strategies, Territorial tactics
Biological Anthropology
Human Evolutionary Studies
Geographical areas: 
Periods of interest: 
Other Prehistory