Dr. Florence LEVRERO

Associate Professeur - Univ. J. Monnet

Personal page:    

Université Jean Monnet
UMR 8195
rue Michelon, 42023 St Etienne


Research Interest

My research interests are related to the evolution of animal behaviour and particularly, sound communication, which is connected to social systems and environment features.
My Ph.D research focused on the role of inter-group encounters on the group dynamics in wild Western Gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla). I then completed two post-docs on the following topics:

1- the ontogenesis of the vocal signature in captive Zebra Finches (Taenopygia guttata) and dealt with the evolutionary theory of parent-offspring conflict at the University of Jean Monnet (France).

2- the effect of group density on repertoire size and vocal sharing in Red-winged starlings (Onychognatus morio) at Rhodes University (South Africa).    

Current Projects & Collaborations

I am interested in the relation between vocal communication and social life in great apes. Primates occupy a wide range of habitat and exhibit variation in their social structure. Despite their phylogenetic proximity with humans, there is little evidence of vocal plasticity in non-human primates contrary to songbirds. This project aims at investigating the potential role of social learning in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes scheinfurthii) and particularly in their automedical behavior.


Research program funded by Saint-Etienne Métropole and the National Geographic Society.


Dr. S. Krief (Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle)
Pr. JC. Gantier (Faculty of Pharmacy (Châtenay)
Uganda Wildlife Authority (Kampala, Uganda)


This year I am devoted to my research activities. During the past few years, I have taught ethology, neurosciences, ecology and population genetics to both Master’s and undergrad students.

Some Selected Publications

Levréro, F., Durand, L., Vignal, C., Blanc A. & Mathevon, N. 2009. Begging calls support offspring individual identity and recognition by zebra finch parents. C.R. Biologies 332 (6): 579-589.

Caillaud D., Levréro F., Gatti S., Ménard N. & Raymond M. 2008. Influence of male morphology on male mating status and behaviour during inter-unit encounters in western lowland gorillas. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 135 (4): 379-388

Levréro F., Gatti S., Gautier-Hion A. & Ménard N. 2007. Yaws disease in a wild gorilla population and its impact on the reproductive status of males. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 132(4):568-575

Levréro F., Gatti S., Ménard N., Petit E., Caillaud D. & Gautier-Hion A. 2006. Living in non-breeding groups: an alternative strategy for maturing gorillas. American Journal of Primatology 68 (3): 275-291

Caillaud D., Levréro F., Cristescu R., Gatti S., Dewas M., Douadi M., Gautier-Hion A., Raymond M. & Ménard N. 2006. Gorilla susceptibility to Ebola virus: The cost of sociality. Current Biology 16(13):489-491

Zebra Finch pairs

Red-Winged Starlings

Common Chimpanzee

In the field
Any questions or remarks on our website, please contact the webmaster