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Univ.-Prof. Priv. Doz. Friederike Range, PhD

Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology
Domestication Lab
Department of Interdisciplinary Life Sciences
University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna
Dörfles 48
A-2115 Ernstbrunn

M +43 (0)664 60257 6252

Email Friederike Range

Researcher unique ID(s): ORCID: 0000 0003 3127 5536



My research focuses on several aspects of animal cognition and behaviour. I have a keen interest in understanding the proximate mechanisms underlying cooperation and the factors that might influence social relationships within and across species (e.g. human-animal relationship). Although I have worked with non-human primates in the past conducting field studies in Africa, in 2007, I started to shift my interests towards dogs and together with Ludwig Huber and Zsófia Virányi, we established the Clever Dog Lab ( However, when investigating dogs, one important question that always comes up is whether dogs’ cognitive abilities are due to the effect of domestication. To explore this question, together with Zsófia Virányi and Kurt Kotrschal, I have established the Wolf Science Center, where wolves and dogs are raised and kept under similar conditions allowing us to study the effect of domestication on dogs’ cognition and behaviour without the confounding factor of different experiences. In recent years, fieldwork has caught up again and we have started to expand our research to free-ranging populations of wolves and dogs to understand how their socio-ecology influences their skills.

Current projects

  • 2021-2024: Principal-investigator (with Sabine Tebbich & Sarah Marshall-Pescini)(FWF): Proximate mechanisms underlying problem solving abilities in dogs and wolves
  • 2017-2025: Doctoral College “CogCom2: Cognition and Communication 2” (FWF): The role of the partner during cooperation
  • 2022-2025: Principal-investigator (with Claus Lamm & Sarah Marshall-Pescini) (FWF): Do human attitudes towards wolves and dogs reflect the human-related temperament traits of the two species?
  • 2024-2028: Principal-investigator (Tiago Monteiro) (FWF):  Elementary cognitive processes in dogs
  • 2022-2026: Co-Investigator (PI: Giulia Cimarelli) (FWF): Social learning in free- ranging dogs
  • 2023-2027: Co-Investigator (PI: Andreas Berghänel) (FWF): Social ecology of free- ranging dogs
  • 2020-2024: Joint International Project: Co-investigator (PI: Sarah Marshall-Pescini;  Malgorzata Pilot, Polish Academy of Science)(FWF I-5052): Testing the Domestication Syndrome hypothesis in free-ranging domestic dogs.
  • 2020-2024: Co-Investigator (PI: Sarah Marshall-Pescini,  Marco Apollonio, University of Sassari)( WWTF): Urbanization of a top predator: are wolves and humans adapting to life in close proximity?

Completed projects

  • Understanding the Proximate Mechanisms of Canine Cooperation. ERC Starting grant (EU)
  • Can nutrition reduce cognitive aging in pet dogs. Funded by a company.
  • 2018-2021: Principal-investigator (with Sarah Brosnan, USA) Animals’ understanding of the partner’s role in cooperation. Funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF)


I am teaching a Journal Club at the Wolf Science Center and classes in ‘Animal Behaviour’, ‘Canine Evolution, Behavior and Cognition’ and a practical methods class ‘Into Science’ in the framework of the IMHAI. Moreover, I am supervising bachelor, master and PhD students.

I also give regular seminars for dog trainers and help organize the educational programs at the Wolf Science Center.


Curriculum Vitae



Habilitation at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna.
Title: Social monitoring in domestic dogs


PhD at the University of Pennsylvania (Department of Psychology), USA
Thesis title: The strategies employed by sooty mangabeys in a socially complex world


Masters at the University of Bayreuth (Department of Animal Physiology), Germany
Thesis title: Social system of female sooty mangabeys




Full Professor and Head of the Domestication Lab, Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna



Associate Professor and Head of the Domestication Lab, Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna


Assistant Professor at the Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna; Head of Wolf Science Center


Employed as University Assistant at the Messerli  Research Institute, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Medical University Vienna, and University of Vienna


Project leader, Department of Cognitive Biology, University of Vienna, Austrian Science Fond, ‘Cognitive tools and emotional context in canine cooperation’.


Co-Director of the Wolf Science Center; involves the responsibility for the research station including financial as well as administrative issues


Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Neurobiology and Cognition, University of Vienna, Austrian Science Fond, ‘Understanding and use of social relationships’


Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Neurobiology and Cognition, University of Vienna, European Community’s Sixth Framework Programme: NEST 012929, ‘Evolution, Development and Intentional Control of Imitation’. I was employed as the main researcher in this project and responsible for the design, the conducting and the analyses of experiments in marmosets, keas and dogs.


Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Konrad-Lorenz Institute for Ethology, Gruenau, Austria. During 5 months I carried out several experiments concerning the individual learning ability of ravens and how learning speed relates to personality.


Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. Employed as technical assistant to summarize empirical and theoretical data about differences in female-female relationships between chimpanzees and bonobos.

Prizes and awards

  • Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology 2012 in the area of animal learning and behavior, comparative. American Psychological Association (APA)
  • Förderpreis der Stadt Wien 2010 (Research award of the City of Vienna)
  • Young Investigator Award 2010 of the University of Vienna
  • Nominated as a ‘Rising star 2009’ of the Association for Psychological Science (APS);
  • Focus of Excellence 2008 of the University of Vienna