Short CV/Education and training

  • since 2015
    Full professor (W2, temporary position) for Comparative Developmental Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin, Department of Education and Psychology

  • 2009 – 2015
    Assistant professor for Evolutionary Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin, Excellence Cluster "Languages of Emotion", Department of Education and Psychology

  • 2008 – 2009
    Research position at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Department of Developmental and Comparative Psychology

  • 2005 – 2008
    Senior lecturer, Department of Psychology, University of Portsmouth, UK

  • 2001 – 2004
    PhD position, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Department of Developmental and Comparative Psychology

  • 1995 – 2001
    Diploma (Biology), Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Department of Developmental and Comparative Psychology and University of Leipzig

  • 1995
    A-level Städtisches Gymnasium Mittweida

Selected publications

  • Liebal, K., & Haun, D. B. M. (2018). Why cross-cultural psychology is incomplete without comparative and developmental perspectives. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 49(5), 751-763.

  • Liebal, K., & Oña, L. (2018). Different approaches to meaning in primate gestural and vocal communication. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 478.

  • Liebal, K., Schneider, C., & Errson-Lembeck, M. (2018). How primates acquire their gestures: evaluating current theories and evidence. Animal Cognition, 1-14

  • Mühlenbeck, C., Jacobsen, T., Pritsch, C., & Liebal, K. (2017). Cultural and species differences in gazing patterns for marked and decorated objects: a comparative eye-tracking study. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 6.

  • Kopp, K. S., & Liebal, K. (2016). Here you are!—Selective and active food sharing within and between groups in captive Sumatran orangutans (Pongo abelii). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 1-15.

  • Liebal, K., Vaish, A., Haun, D., & Tomasello, M. (2014). Does sympathy motivate prosocial behaviour in great apes? PLOS ONE, 9(1), e84299.

  • Scheider, L., Liebal, K., Oña, L., Burrows, A., & Waller, B. (2014). A comparison of facial expression properties in five hylobatid species. American Journal of Primatology. DOI: 10.1002/ajp.22255

  • Liebal, K., Waller, B., Burrows, A. Slocombe, K. (2013). Primate Communication. A Multimodal Approach. Cambridge University Press.

  • Slocombe, K., Waller, B., & Liebal, K. (2011). The language void: the need for multimodality. Animal Behaviour, 81, 919–924.

  • Arbib, M., Liebal, K. & Pika, S. (2008). Primate vocalization, gesture and the evolution of human language. Current Anthropology, 49 (6): 1064-1065.

Complete list of publications

Selected projects

  • "The grammar of the body", with Wendy Sandler, University of Haifa, Israel

  • "Study in the field (Chimfunshi, Zambia)", in cooperation with University of Zambia, Lusaka

  • "The researcher's affects", with Thomas Stodulka, Freie Universität Berlin and Oliver Lubrich, University of Bern

  • "Comparing emotional expression across species", with Linda Oña, Freie Universität Berlin, Bridget Waller, University of Portsmouth, UK and Anne Burrows, Duquesne University, USA


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