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Rindrahatsarana Ramanankirahina, PhD.

Rindrahatsarana Ramanankirahina

Sociality and communication in woolly lemurs.

My research interests focus mainly on lemur behavioural ecology, communication and conservation.
In my studies toward a doctoral degree, I will examine more closely the woolly lemurs (Avahi occidentalis) in Madagascar, especially with regard to the sociality and communication. Avahi are threatened by the destruction of their natural forest habitats. They are highly specialised folivores. Hence, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to keep them in captivity. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to protect the different woolly lemur species in their natural habitats.  

Rindrahatsarana Ramanankirahina

Professional and scientific career


Dissertation (PhD)


2008 - 2013

PhD student of the PhD program “Veterinary Research and Animal Biology”, University of Veterinary Medecine Hannover
Research project: “Sociality and communication in woolly lemurs
Main supervisor: Prof. D. Elke Zimmermann


Diplôme d’Etude Approfondie (DEA), University of Antananarivo Madagascar
Research Project: “An investigation of behaviour, diets and activities of Mongoose lemur (Eulemur mongoz) and crowned sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi coronatus) in the Forest of Antrema Mahajanga”.
Supervisor: Dr. Daniela Rakotondravony 


1997 - 2004

University of Antananarivo Madagascar
Department of Animal Biology

Awards & grants

  • DAAD research grant for Doctoral Candidates and young academics and scientists since 2008
  • Ecole Thématique en Ecologie Tropicale (ETET), Morondava, Madagascar (2 weeks). Research workshop on Biodiversity and Insularity, in partnership with (among others) the CNRS & IFB (http://millsonia.free.fr/ETET2007.html) 2007
  • Award from World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Antananarivo, Madagascar for a field school in Bemaraha National Park  2002


I. Articles in peer reviewed journals



Ramanankirahina, R.; Joly, M., Zimmermann, E. (2013): If you want me, just whistle! Loud calling, spacing and cohesiveness in the western woolly lemurs (Avahi occidentalis). 13th Conference of the Gesellschaft für Primatologie, Hamburg, 6.2.-8.2.2013, p. 28.




Ramanankirahina, R.; Joly, M.; Zimmermann, E.: Seasonal effects on sleeping site ecology in a nocturnal pair-living lemur (Avahi occidentalis) In: International Journal of Primatology 33, 2 (2012) 428-439

ISSN 0164-0291




Ramanankirahina, R., Joly, M., Zimmermann, E.: Peaceful primates: affiliation, aggression, and the question of female dominance in a nocturnal pair-living lemur (Avahi occidentalis). Am. J. Primatol. 73 (12), 1261-1268; DOI: 10. 1002/ajp.20998.



Harpet, C., Navarro, L., Ramanankirahina, R. (2008): Rôle et Implications des croyances et des savoir-faire locaux dans les programmes de conservation : Exemple d’un site à lémuriens sacrés au cœur de la Station Forestière à Usages Multiples d’Antrema (pays Sakalava). Terre Vie, vol. 63 n°3, p. 289-292


II. Abstracts of international conferences (2010 - 2007)




Ramanankirahina, R., Joly, M., Zimmermann, E. Female dominance, affiliation, and aggression. PhD program „Veterinary Research and Animal Biology, 06.04.2011 Hannover, Germany




Ramanankirahina, R., Joly, M., Zimmermann, E. Sleeping site ecology in a nocturnal pair-living lemur: the effect of season (Avahi occidentalis). 23rd Congress of the International Primatological Society, Kyoto, 12.-18.9.2010, # 828

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