The University of Western Australia

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Cyril Grueter

Dr Cyril Grueter

Senior Lecturer
Anatomy, Physiology and Human Biology, School of

Contact details
School of Anatomy, Physiology and Human Biology
The University of Western Australia (M309)
35 Stirling Highway
+61 8 6488 8643
+61 8 6488 1051
Personal homepage
PhD Zurich
I completed my PhD degree in biological anthropology in 2009 at the University of Zurich/Switzerland, which was supervised by Prof. Carel van Schaik. My research was aimed at understanding the evolutionary determinants of multilevel societies in primates and included 20 months of observations on wild snub-nosed monkeys in China, complemented with comparative cross-species analyses. Subsequently I worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig/Germany and conducted a field study on the feeding ecology and feeding competition in mountain gorillas in Rwanda between 2009 and 2010 in collaboration with the Karisoke Research Center.
Key research
My primary research interests lie at the interface of behavioral ecology and evolutionary anthropology and include the evolution of primate/human sociality and the mechanisms underlying social cohesion. My particular interests revolve around the evolution of meta-group social organization which describes cases in which individuals of different social units interact and collaborate to varying degrees. I am currently involved in ongoing field research projects on snub-nosed monkeys in China as well as mountain gorillas and colobus monkeys in Rwanda.

Robbins MM, Ando C, Fawcett K, Grueter CC, Hedwig D, Iwata Y, Lodwick J, Masi S, Salmi R, Stoinski TS, Todd A, Vecellio V, Yamagiwa J (2016). Behavioural variation in gorillas: Evidence of potential cultural Traits. Plos One 11: e0160483

Grueter CC, Stoinski TS (2016). Homosexual behavior in female mountain gorillas: reflection of dominance, affiliation, reconciliation or arousal? Plos One 11(5): e0154185

Grueter CC, Robbins AM, Abavandimwe D, Vecellio V, Ndagijimana F, Ortmann S, Stoinski TS, Robbins MM (online). Causes, mechanisms, and consequences of contest competition among female mountain gorillas in Rwanda. Behavioral Ecology27: 766-776

Grueter CC, Zhu P, Allen WL, Higham JP, Ren B, Li M (2015). Sexually-selected lip colour indicates male group-holding status in the mating season in a multi-level primate society. Royal Society Open Science 2: 150490

Grueter CC, Isler K, Dixson BJ (2015). Are badges of status adaptive in large complex primate groups? Evolution and Human Behavior 36: 398-406

Grueter CC (2015). Home range overlap as a driver of intelligence in primates. American Journal of Primatology 77: 418-424

Grueter CC, White DR (2014). On the emergence of large-scale human social integration and its antecedents in primates. Structure and Dynamics: eJournal of Anthropological and Related Sciences 7(1)

Grueter CC (2014). Primate model offers insights into male bonding in complex societies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111: 14645-14646

Grueter CC, Deschner T, Behringer V, Robbins MM (2014). Socioecological correlates of energy balance using urinary C-peptide measurements in wild female mountain gorillas. Physiology & Behavior 127: 13-19.

Xiang Z, Yang B, Yu Y, Yao H, Grueter CC, Garber PA, Li M (2014). Males collectively defend their one-male units against bachelor males in a multi-level primate society American Journal of Primatology 76: 609-617.

Grueter CC (2013). No effect of inter-group conflict on within-group harmony in non-human primates. Communicative & Integrative Biology 6: e26801.

Grueter CC, Robbins MM, Ndagijimana F, Stoinski T (2013). Possible tool use in a mountain gorilla. Behavioural Processes 100: 160-162.

Yu Y, Xiang Z, Yao H, Grueter CC, Li M (2013). Female snub-nosed monkeys exchange grooming for sex and infant handling. PLOS ONE 8: e74822

Grueter CC, Li D, Ren B, Li M (2013). Overwintering strategy of Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys: adjustments in activity scheduling and foraging patterns. Primates 54: 125-135.

Grueter CC, Ndamiyabo F, Plumptre AJ, Abavandimwe D, Fawcett KA, Robbins MM (2013). Long-term temporal and spatial dynamics of mountain gorilla food plants in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda. American Journal of Primatology 75: 267-280.

Grueter CC, Bissonnette A, Isler K, van Schaik CP (2013). Grooming and social cohesion in primates: implications for the evolution of language. Evolution and Human Behavior 34: 61-68.

Grueter CC, Chapais B, Zinner D (2012). Evolution of multilevel societies in nonhuman primates and humans. International Journal of Primatology 33: 1002-1037.

Grueter CC, van Schaik CP (2010). Evolutionary determinants of modular societies in colobines. Behavioral Ecology 21: 63-71.

Kirkpatrick RC, Grueter CC (2010). Snub-nosed monkeys: multilevel societies in varied environments. Evolutionary Anthropology 19: 98-113.

Grueter CC, Li D, Ren B, Wei F (2009). Choice of an analytical method can have dramatic effects on primate home range estimates. Primates 50: 81-84.

Grueter CC, Li D, Ren B, Wei F, Xiang Z, van Schaik CP (2009). Fallback foods of temperate-living primates: a case study on snub-nosed monkeys. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 140: 700-715.

Grueter CC, van Schaik CP (2009) Sexual size dimorphism in Asian colobines revisited. American Journal of Primatology 71: 609-616.

Grueter CC, Jiang X, Konrad R, Fan P, Guan Z, Geissmann T (2009). Are Hylobates lar extirpated from China? International Journal of Primatology 30: 553-567.

Grueter CC, Li D, Ren B, Wei F, van Schaik CP (2009). Dietary profile of Rhinopithecus bieti and its socioecological implications. International Journal of Primatology 30: 553-567.

Grueter CC, Li D, van Schaik CP, Ren B, Long Y, Wei F (2008). Ranging of snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus bieti) at the Samage Forest, Yunnan. I. Characteristics of range use. International Journal of Primatology 29: 1121-1145.

Xiang Z-F & Grueter CC (2007). The first direct evidence of infanticide and cannibalism in wild snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus bieti). American Journal of Primatology 69: 249-254.

Xiang Z-F, Huo S, Xiao W, Quan R-C, Grueter CC (2007). Diet and feeding behavior of Rhinopithecus bieti at Xiaochangdu, Tibet: adaptations to a marginal environment. American Journal of Primatology 69: 1141-1158,

Grüter CC (2004). Conflict and postconflict behavior in captive black-and-white snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus bieti). Primates 45: 197-200.

Funding received
Swiss National Science Foundation Fellowship (2009)
National Science Foundation of China Research Fund for International Young Scientists (2011)
UWA Research Collaboration Award (2016)
Honours and awards
Winner UWA 2012 Outstanding Young Investigator Award
ANHB 1101 Human Biology - Becoming Human (Lecturer)
ANHB 3315 Human Evolutionary Ecology (Lecturer)
ANHB 3322 Human/Primate Social Organisation (Coordinator, lecturer, tutor)
ANHB 3320 Human Biology: Applications & Investigations II
Useful links
New and noteworthy
Scientist investigates human links to endangered Chinese 'snub-nosed' monkeys

ScienceShot: Gorillas Use Ladders in the Wild

Are we destined to be the apes of war?

Territorial overlap led to cognitive advance

Do Men Grow Beards To Show Dominance? Here's What The Science Say

Science explains why hipsters grow beards

Natural lipstick helps male monkeys get the girl

Australian scientist spots girl gorillas in the midst of same-sex passion

Mountain Gorillas Become Playful After Gorging on Bamboo Shoots
Current projects
Social network of multilevel societies in golden snub-nosed monkeys

Evolution of meta-group social organization in primates/humans

Causes and consequences on intergroup conflict in mountain gorillas

Determinants of super-group formation in colobus monkeys in Rwanda

Behavioral ecology of a montane population of chimpanzees in Nyungwe National Park (Rwanda)
Research profile
Research profile and publications

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Last updated:
Tuesday, 3 November, 2015 2:39 PM