Dr Esther Herrmann
I completed my PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, under the supervision of Michael Tomasello and Josep Call. After that I continued working as a postdoc, a coordinator for research in African chimpanzee sanctuaries and senior scientist. In 2013 I was awarded my own Minerva Research Group on the Human Origins of Self-Regulation within the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. I joined the psychology department at Portsmouth as a senior lecturer in July 2020.
The goal of my research is to investigate the roots of human cooperation and self-control through a multi-disciplinary and comparative lens. My experimental research focuses on: 1) contributing to our understanding of the evolution of human cognition by identifying shared and unique socio-cognitive abilities in humans and non-human great-apes and 2) discovering how developmental factors and cultural characteristics influence social cognition and behavior. To pursue this goal, over the last years, I established, coordinated and conducted research across various cross-cultural field sites in Africa and African chimpanzee sanctuaries.