Sonja Jördis Ebel

Maria-Goeppert-Straße 9a
23562 Lübeck
Gebäude MFC 8, 1. OG, Raum 1

Phone:+49 451 3101 3635
Fax:+49 451 3101 3604


Research areas

Cognition, comparative psychology, evolution, functionalfixedness, lifespan psychology, insight, innovative problem solving, primates, tool use


Lebenslauf (kurz)

seit 2020Postdoctoral researcher at University of Lübeck, Institute for Psychology I,  Research group “Lifespan psychology”
2019-2020Postdoctoral Researcher at Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Leipzig), Dep. of Comparative Cultural Psychology & Dep. of Primatology

Ph.D. in psychology at University of St Andrews (Scotland), School of Psychology & Neuroscience and Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Leipzig), Dep. of Developmental and Comparative Psychology

2013-2014Student assisstant at Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Leipzig), Research group “Comparative Cognitive Anthropology”
2013Student assisstant at Freie Universität Berlin, Research group “Evolutionary Psychology”
2010-2013M.Sc. Neurobiology and behaviour at Freie Universität Berlin

Erasmus exchange program at University of Vienna

(M.Sc. Behavioural, neuro- and cognitive biology)

2007-2010B.A. Philosophy-Neurosciences-Cognition at Otto-von-Guericke University of Magdeburg


Current project

I am currently interested in the relationship of metabolic markers and cognition in humans and how this relationship is modulated by age.     



Ebel, S. J., Zeidler, H., Duguid, S., Eckert, J., Völter, C., & Call, J. (in preparation). Flexible tool use with food items in human children and chimpanzees: the impact of own- versus other-experience.

Ebel, S. J., Völter, C., Sánchez Amaro, A., Helmig, A. K., Herrmann, E., & Call, J. (under revision). Functional fixedness in great apes.

Ebel, S. J.; Völter, C.; Call, J. (accepted). Prior experience mediates the usage of food items as tools in great apes (Gorilla gorilla, Pan paniscus, Pan troglodytes, Pongo abelii). Journal of Comparative Psychology.

Ebel, S. J.; Kopp, K. S.; Liebal, K. (2020). Object preferences in captive Sumatran orang-utans (Pongo abelii). Behavioural Processes, 170, 103993.

Ebel, S. J.; Schmelz, M.; Herrmann, E.; Call, J. (2019). Innovative problem solving in great apes: the role of visual feedback in the floating peanut task. Animal Cognition, 22(5), 791-805.

Ebel, S. J.; Hanus, D.; Call, J. (2019). How prior experience and task presentation modulate innovation in six-year-old-children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 180, 87-103.

Ebel, S. J. (2019). Tool use in great apes and human children: The impact of prior experience and visual feedback. Ph.D. thesis. University of St Andrews.

Ebel, S. J. & Call, J. (2018). The interplay of prior experience and motivation in great ape problem-solving (Gorilla gorilla, Pan paniscus, Pan troglodytes, and Pongo abelii). Journal of Comparative Psychology, 132(3), 294-305.