At a refuge for great apes in Africa, plans call for students to engage in field research – donors are being sought
Chimpanzees playing with each other, grooming each other’s hair, or fighting for their spot in the social pecking order – at Chimfunshi, a wildlife sanctuary in Zambia, scientists and scholars can observe the great apes up close. In the near future, plans also call for giving students of psychology from Freie Universität Berlin a chance to amass initial experience in field research in southern Africa even before they complete their study programs. “Chimfunshi offers the unique opportunity to observe the complex social behavior of chimpanzees in almost their natural environment,” explains Katja Liebal, a junior professor of evolutionary psychology at Freie Universität. Liebal is performing a study of multimodal expression of emotion there, studying the gestures and facial expressions chimpanzees use to communicate with each other.
Archaeologists from Freie Universität Berlin unlock the long-lost past of the Assiut region
A German-Egyptian excavation team has made a find in the mountain at Assiut, 375 kilometers south of Cairo – a smelly one. It is a tomb for dogs, stacked high with mummified carcasses. Since 2003, Professor Jochem Kahl of Freie Universität Berlin and his colleagues have been exploring the mountain at Assiut – the first foreign excavation team in more than 100 years to do so.
Researchers from the Institute for East European Studies study the importance of religion in post-Communist countries today
The charges against the members of the punk band Pussy Riot, outspoken critics of the Russian regime made it obvious to everyone: Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, the relationship between church and state in Russia has undergone significant change. Religion increasingly plays a role in the political sphere. At the Institute for East European Studies at Freie Universität, junior scholars from various disciplines have formed a working group to study this development. At a workshop in Saint Petersburg, they met with Russian colleagues to discuss topics including the role of Islam in Russia and the states of the former Yugoslavia, the debate over circumcision in Germany – and, of course, Pussy Riot.