I am a researcher in ethology and cognition.

I work in the team of Evolutionary Ethology at the IPHC (CNRS) in Strasbourg.

   Quick view

My interests lie in the capacity of animals to do economics, ie. to use social situations in order to maximize their own benefits. I study primates (great apes, macaques, capuchins), corvids and occasionally canids. I focus more specifically on the cognitive capacities underlying calculated reciprocity. I also investigate the capacity of animals to delay reward, to anticipate and to plan for future returns. This work is done in collaboration with Dr Thierry (CNRS, Strasbourg) and with Dr Call (Max Planck Institute, Leipzig, Germany). After a post-doc in St-Andrews, I integrated in 2010, the Department of Ecology, Physiology and Ethology, in Strasbourg, France.



Habilitation to direct research, obtained from the University of Strasbourg, France.


PhD on "Face recognition in human and non human primates". Co-supervised by Dr O. Petit (France) and Dr O. Pascalis (United Kingdom). Ethology of Primates’ group. DEPE, UMR 7178, CNRS, University Louis Pasteur of Strasbourg.Psychology department, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.


Master in Neurosciences, Université Louis Pasteur of Strasbourg, France.


Bachelor in Biology of Organisms, Populations and Ecosystems,Rennes.


"Baccalauréat" of Sciences (Biology/Mathematics), Laval, France.

   Career history


Research team manager at the Living Links to Human Evolution Centre, at Edinburgh Zoo. Post-doctoral fellowship of the University of St-Andrews, with Pr. A. Whiten.


Research and Teaching Assistant: 

Research: "The biological basis of reciprocity in primates in brown capuchins, macaques and great apes". Ethology of Primates' group, Strasbourg.Manager of the capuchin group.

Teaching: Master level, Cognition and Social Strategies.


Post-doctoral position:

"Episodic Memory in Chimpanzees" with Dr. Sterck at the Biomedical Primate Research Centre, Netherlands.


PhD on "Face recognition in human and non human primates".

Comparative study of humans, macaques (Tonkean and longtailed macaques) and brown capuchin monkeys.

   Teaching & Supervision
2002-2007 Teaching :

Faculty of Life Science, Strasbourg.

Cognition and Social Strategies, 59 hours (master level), and cell biology, 45 hours (first year level).

Faculty of Life Science and Faculty of Psychology: human evolutionary psychology, data collection methods in Ethology, 90 hours (third year level), Neurone physiology, and Endocrinology, 64 hours (third year level).

since 2006 Supervision :

Supervision of PhD Student :

Palmyre Boucherie

Amélie Romain

Marie Pelé (co-supervisors: Dr Thierry, and Dr Call)

Sophie Steelandt (co-supervisors: Dr Thierry, Dr Broihanne)

Member of the PhD advisory board of Marusha Dekleva, (Utrecht University).

2014-2015 IDEX Unistra-CNRS, economics in primates, 80.000 €.

2009-2012 Agence Nationale pour la Recherche, research and mobility grant, 320.000 €.

2007-2010 Scottish funding council, post-doctoral grant.
2006 Leakey Foundation, 4.500 $ granted to M. Pelé.
2004 Ministry of Foreign affairs, mobility support 900 €.
2000-2003 European Doctoral College of the university of Strasbourg, research and mobility support 13.500 €.
2001-2002 Foundation Rotary International, research grant 11.000 $.
2002 Réseau Cogniest, mobility support 1.000 €.
2000-2001 Royal Society/ CNRS, mobility support 6.900 €.



Valerie DUFOUR
Evolutionary ethology

Department of Ecology, Physiology and Ethology
IPHC - UMR 7178, CNRS-Unistra
23 rue Becquerel
67087 Strasbourg Cedex 2 - FRANCE

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e-mail : valerie.dufour(at)iphc.cnrs.fr