Liza Rose Moscovice, Ph.D.

+49 38208 68-802
Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN)
Institute of Behavioural Physiology
Wilhelm-Stahl-Allee 2
18196 Dummerstorf

Research interests

I use a psychobiological framework to investigate the underlying mechanisms and adaptive function of social relationships and prosociality in animal models, ranging from primates to pigs. My research investigates why individuals vary in their propensities to affiliate and cooperate with others and how this variation influences their fitness. This work has broader implications for understanding the evolution of cooperation and the mechanisms by which social support provides health benefits.

Main research topics:

  • Comparative models of prosociality and empathy in farm animals
  • Understanding the link between social relationships, stress and health outcomes
  • Investigating hormonal underpinnings of social relationships and cooperation

Curriculum Vitae

  • since 2019: Research Scientist, Institute of Behavioural Physiology, Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology, Germany
  • 2016-2018: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Anthropology Department, Emory University, USA
  • 2011-2016: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Germany
  • 2009-2011: Visiting Assistant Professor, Biology Department, Binghamton University, USA
  • 2006-2009: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Biology Department, University of Pennsylvania, USA
  • 1999-2006: PhD, Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
  • 1997-1999: Lab technician, Neurology Department, University of Minnesota, USA
  • 1993-1997: BA, Neuroscience, Oberlin College, USA


Moscovice, L.; Surbeck, M.; Fruth, B.; Hohmann, G.; Jaeggi, A.; Deschner, T. (2019):
The cooperative sex: Sexual interactions among female bonobos are linked to increases in oxytocin, proximity and coalitions. Horm Behav 116: 104581, 1-9
Moscovice, L. R.; Douglas, P. H.; Martinez-Inigo, L.; Surbeck, M.; Vigilant, L.; Hohmann, G. (2017):
Stable and fluctuating social preferences and implications for cooperation among female bonobos at LuiKotale, Salonga National Park, DRC. Am J Phys Anthropol 163: 158-172
Douglas, P. H.; Moscovice, L. R. (2015):
Pointing and pantomime in wild apes? Female bonobos use referential and iconic gestures to request genito-genital rubbing. Sci Rep-Uk 5: Artn 13999
Moscovice, L. R.; Deschner, T.; Hohmann, G. (2015):
Welcome Back: Responses of Female Bonobos (Pan paniscus) to Fusions. Plos One 10: Artn e0127305
Kitchen, D. M.; Cheney, D. L.; Engh, A. L.; Fischer, J.; Moscovice, L. R.; Seyfarth, R. M. (2013):
Male baboon responses to experimental manipulations of loud "wahoo calls": testing an honest signal of fighting ability. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 67: 1825-1835"
Moscovice, L. R.; Ziegler, T. E. (2012):
Peripheral oxytocin in female baboons relates to estrous state and maintenance of sexual consortships. Horm Behav 62: 592-597
Cheney, D. L.; Moscovice, L. R.; Heesen, M.; Mundry, R.; Seyfarth, R. M. (2010):
Contingent cooperation between wild female baboons. P Natl Acad Sci USA 107: 9562-9566
Moscovice, L. R.; Mbago, F.; Snowdon, C. T.; Huffman, M. A. (2010):
Ecological features and ranging patterns at a chimpanzee release site on Rubondo Island, Tanzania. Biol Conserv 143: 2711-2721
Silk, J. B.; Beehner, J. C.; Bergman, T. J.; Crockford, C.; Engh, A. L.; Moscovice, L. R.; Wittig, R. M.; Seyfarth, R. M.; Cheney, D. L. (2010):
Female chacma baboons form strong, equitable, and enduring social bonds. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 64: 1733-1747
Petrzelkova, K. J.; Hasegawa, H.; Appleton, C. C.; Huffman, M. A.; Archer, C. E.; Moscovice, L. R.; Mapua, M. I.; Singh, J.; Kaur, T. (2010):
Gastrointestinal Parasites of the Chimpanzee Population Introduced onto Rubondo Island National Park, Tanzania. Am J Primatol 72: 307-316
Moscovice, L. R.; Di Fiore, A.; Crockford, C.; Kitchen, D. M.; Wittig, R.; Seyfarth, R. M.; Cheney, D. L. (2010):
Hedging their bets? Male and female chacma baboons form friendships based on likelihood of paternity. Animal Behaviour 79: 1007-1015
Silk, J. B.; Beehner, J. C.; Bergman, T. J.; Crockford, C.; Engh, A. L.; Moscovice, L. R.; Wittig, R. M.; Seyfarth, R. M.; Cheney, D. L. (2010):
Strong and Consistent Social Bonds Enhance the Longevity of Female Baboons. Curr Biol 20: 1359-1361
Silk, J. B.; Beehner, J. C.; Bergman, T. J.; Crockford, C.; Engh, A. L.; Moscovice, L. R.; Wittig, R. M.; Seyfarth, R. M.; Cheney, D. L. (2009):
The benefits of social capital: close social bonds among female baboons enhance offspring survival. P Roy Soc B-Biol Sci 276: 3099-3104
Moscovice, L. R.; Heesen, M.; Di Fiore, A.; Seyfarth, R. M.; Cheney, D. L. (2009):
Paternity alone does not predict long-term investment in juveniles by male baboons. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 63: 1471-1482
Moscovice, L. R.; Issa, M. H.; Petrzelkova, K. J.; Keuler, N. S.; Snowdon, C. T.; Huffman, M. A. (2007):
Fruit availability, chimpanzee diet, and grouping patterns on Rubondo Island, Tanzania. Am J Primatol 69: 487-502
Petrzelkova, K. J.; Hasegawa, H.; Moscovice, L. R.; Kaur, T.; Issa, M.; Huffman, M. A. (2006):
Parasitic nematodes in the chimpanzee population on Rubondo Island, Tanzania. Int J Primatol 27: 767-777
Moscovice, L. R.; Snowdon, C. T. (2006):
The role of social context and individual experience in novel task acquisition in cottontop tamarins, Saguinus oedipus. Animal Behaviour 71: 933-943
Hasegawa, H.; Ikeda, Y.; Fujisaki, A.; Moscovice, L. R.; Petrzelkova, K. J.; Kaur, T.; Huffman, M. A. (2005):
Morphology of chimpanzee pinworms, Enterobius (Enterobius) anthropopitheci (Gedoelst, 1916) (Nematoda : Oxyuridae), collected from chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes, on Rubondio Island, Tanzania. J Parasitol 91: 1314-1317