Lola ya Bonobo’s mission is to assure the conservation and welfare of bonobos. Researchers can play an important role in helping Lola ya Bonobo meet both its conservation and welfare goals. People protect what they respect and people respect what they understand. Researchers can help us understand more about the hidden details of bonobo life and this understanding can then be used to capture the imagination of all ages. When people learn fascinating facts about bonobo life that careful research uncovers, people want to protect bonobos.

​Lola ya Bonobo welcomes researchers since their findings provide another powerful tool for educators to use in order to capture the minds and hearts of the future friends of bonobos. Cognitive, behavioral, physiological, genetic and morphological research has all been conducted at Lola ya Bonobo since 2005. Lola ya Bonobo has hosted researchers from top research institutions from all over the world including Harvard U, Duke U, Saint Andrews U, Kyoto U, Kinshasa U and more. All research with the bonobos in strictly non-invasive and the information gained must benefit the individual bonobo being studied as well as the species. Below are links to research papers produced as a result of Lola hosting researchers.

Peer-Reviewed Scientific Publications


2017| Bonobos: Unique in Mind, Brain and Behaviour. Oxford University Press.

2017| Does the bonobo have a (chimpanzee-like) theory of mind? IN: Bonobos: Unique in Mind Brain and Behaviour. 
2017| Cognitive comparisons of genus Pan support bonobo self domestication. IN: Bonobos: Unique in Mind Brain and Behaviour. 

2017| Minding the bonobo mind. IN: Bonobos: Unique in Mind Brain and Behaviour. 

2017| Baby dominance in bonobos: do infants motivate female aggression toward males? IN: Bonobos: Unique in Mind Brain and Behaviour. 

2017| Prosociality among non-kin in bonobos and chimpanzees compared. IN: Bonobos: Unique in Mind Brain and Behaviour. 

2017| Bonobo population dynamics: past patterns and future predictions for the Lola ya Bonobo population using demographic modeling. IN: Bonobos: Unique in Mind Brain and Behaviour. 

2017| Bonobos respond prosocially toward members of other groups. Scientific Reports.

2017| The development and flexibility of gaze alternation in bonobos and chimpanzees. Developmental Science.

2017| Is Over-imitation a Uniquely Human Phenomenon? Insights From Human Children as Compared to Bonobos. Child Development.


2016| Reward currency modulates human risk preferences. Evolution and Human Behavior. 

2016| Metabolic acceleration and the evolution of human brain size and life hisory. Nature. 

2016| A comparison between bonobos and chimpanzees: A review and update. Evolutionary Anthropology

2016| Novel action copying in bonobos and chimpanzees compared to humans. International Journal of Psychology. 

2016| Bonobos (Pan paniscus) vocally protest against violations of social expectations. Journal of Comparative Psychology. 

2016| The influence of victim signalling on the expression of post-conflict behaviors in bonobos (pan paniscus). International Journal of Psychology. 

2016| Obstacles and catalysts to peaceful coexistence in chimpanzees and bonobos. Behaviour.


2015| Moving bonobos off the scientifically endangered list. Behaviour. 

2015| Bonobos and Chimpanzees exhibit human-like framing effects. Biology Letters.

2015| Context influences spatial frames of reference in bonobos (Pan paniscus). Behaviour.

2015| Experimental evidence that grooming and play are social currency in bonobos and chimpanzees. Behaviour.

2015| Preference or Paradigm? Bonobos do not share in “the” prosocial choice task. Behaviour.

2015| The influence of testosterone on cognitive performance in bonobos and chimpanzees. Behaviour.

2015| Sex and strife: post conflict sexual contacts in bonobos. Behaviour.

2015| Bonobos and chimpanzees read helpful gestures better than prohibitive gestures. Behaviour.

2015| Long-term balancing selection in LAD1 maintains a missense trans-species polymorphism in humans, chimpanzees and bonobos. Molecular Biology and Evolution.


2014| Differences in the early cognitive development of children and great apes. Developmental psychobiology.

2014| Primate energy expenditure and life history. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. 

2014| Multi-modal use of a socially-directed signal in bonobos. PLoS One.

2014| Different ontogenetic patterns of testosterone production reflect divergent male reproductive strategies in chimpanzees and bonobos. Physiology & behavior.


2013| Bonobos Share with Strangers. PLoS One.

2013| Spontaneous triadic play in bonobos and chimpanzees. Journal of Comparative Psychology.

2013| Chimpanzees and Bonobos Exhibit Emotional Responses to Decision Outcomes. PLoS One

2013| Bonobos Respond to Distress in Others: Consolation across the Age Spectrum. PLoS One.

2013| The development of socio-emotional competence in bonobos. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

2013| Comparative population genomics of the ejaculate in humans and the great apes. Molecular Biology and Evolution.

2013| Direct and indirect reputation formation in nonhuman great apes (Pan paniscus, Pan troglodytes, Gorilla gorilla, Pongo pygmaeus) and human children (Homo sapiens). Journal of Comparative Psychology.

2013| The saliva microbiome of Pan and Homo. BMC Microbiology.


2012 | The self-domestication hypothesis: bonobo psychology evolved due to selection against male aggression. Animal Behaviour

2012| Communication during sex among female bonobos: effects of dominance, solicitation and audience. Scientific reports

2012 | The bonobo genome compared with the chimpanzee and human genomes. Nature.

2012 | High Diversity at PRDM9 in Chimpanzees and Bonobos. PloS One

2012 | Education program evaluation at multiple primate sanctuaries in equatorial Africa. International Journal of Primatology.

2012 | Chimpanzees and bonobos exhibit divergent spatial memory development. Developmental Science.

2012| Decision making across social contexts: competition increases preferences for risk in chimpanzees and bonobos. Animal Behaviour.


2011 | A comparison of temperament in nonhuman apes and human infants. Developmental Science.

2011 | Bonobos and chimpanzees infer the target of an actor’s attention. Animal Behaviour.

2011 | Chimpanzee and bonobos distinguish between risk and ambiguity. Biology Letters.

2011 | Psychological Health of Orphan Bonobos and Chimpanzees in African Sanctuaries. PLoS One.

2011 | Assessing the psychological health of captive and wild apes: a response to Ferdowsian et al. 2011. Journal of Comparative Psychology.

2011 | Bonobos Fall within the Genomic Variation of Chimpanzees. PLoS ONE.

2011 | Blood groups in the species survival plan, European endangered species program and managed in situ populations of bonobo (Pan panicus), common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), gorilla (Gorilla ssp), and orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus ssp). Zoo Biology.

2011 | Hand Preferences for bimanual coordination in 77 bonobos (Pan paniscus): replication and extension. International Journal of Primatology,

2011 | Female bonobos use copulation calls as social signals. Biology Letters.

2011 | Bonobos extract meaning from call sequences. PloS One.

2011 | The Structure of Bonobo Copulation Calls During Reproductive and Non‐Reproductive Sex. Ethology.

2011 | Bonobo but not chimpanzee infants use socio-sexual contact with peers. Primates.

2011| Encephalomyocarditis virus mortality in semi‐wild bonobos (Pan paniscus). Journal of Medical Primatology. 


2010 | Differences in the Cognitive Skills of Bonobos and Chimpanzees. PLoS One.

2010 | Bonobos voluntarily share their own food with others. Current Biology.

2010 | Evidence for delayed development of social behavior and cognition in bonobos relative to chimpanzees. Current Biology.

2010 | Reaching around barriers: The performance of great apes and 3- to 5-year-old children on an inhibitory control task. Animal Cognition.

2010 | A comparison of bonobo and chimpanzee tool use: evidence for a female bias in the Pan lineage. Animal Behaviour.

2010 | On the diversity of malaria parasites in African apes and the origin of Plasmodium falciparum from Bonobos. PLoS Pathogens.

2010 | Differential reactivity of steroid hormones in chimpanzees and bonobos when anticipating food competition. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


2009 | Bonobos have more human-like second-to-fourth finger length ratio (2D:4D) than chimpanzees: a hypothesized indication of lower prenatal androgens. Journal of Human Evolution.

2009 | Shallow-water habitats as sources of fallback foods for hominins. American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

2009 | Placental retention in a bonobo (Pan paniscus). Journal of Medical Primatology.

2008 | The conservation value of Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary. In: Bonobos Revisited. Springer Press.

2008| Social games between bonobos and humans: evidence for shared intentionality? American Journal of Primatology.

2007 | Bonobos at the “Lola ya Bonobo” sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Pan Africa News.

2007| Bonobos at the “Lola Ya Bonobo” Sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Exotic Animal Practice. 

2007 | Tolerance allows bonobos to outperform chimpanzees in a cooperative task. Current Biology.

2005| Rehabilitation of orphan gorillas and bonobos in the Congo. International Zoo News

2005 | Fatal inflammatory heart disease in a bonobo. Journal of Medical Primatology

For more information on Lola ya Bonobo’s research policies go to The Ape Research Consortium

Electronic versions of these papers are provided as a professional courtesy to ensure timely dissemination of academic work for individual and noncommercial purposes. Copyright and all rights therein reside with the respective copyright holders, as stated within each paper. These files may not be reposted without permission.