Banner Gibbon Research Lab.


Welcome to the website of the Gibbon Research Lab., owned by Thomas Geissmann. Do you want to know more about gibbons? This is the place you need to visit.

The Gibbon Research Lab. is active since 1980 and is currently located at the
Anthropological Institute of Zürich University (Switzerland). Click here for information on how to contact or visit me. My research activities are covering biology and conservation of the gibbons or small apes (Hylobatidae), and the role of gibbons in Asian cultures.

Book Releases

Gibbons – The singing apes / Gibbons – Die singenden Menschenaffen
by Thomas Geissmann

2014, 48 pages.
ISBN: 978-3-033-04475-3
Publisher: Anthropologisches Institut und Museum der Universität Zürich, und Gibbon Conservation Alliance, Zurich, Switzerland. MORE

The conservation status of hoolock gibbons in Myanmar
by Thomas Geissmann, Mark E. Grindley, Ngwe Lwin, Saw Soe Aung, Thet Naing Aung, Saw Blaw Htoo, and Frank Momberg

2013, xii + 157 pages
ISBN: 978-3-033-04358-9
Publisher: Gibbon Conservation Alliance, Zurich, Switzerland. MORE


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Brief introduction to the natural history of the gibbons
  Introduction to gibbon systematics
  Photographs of all gibbon species
  Sound samples of all gibbon species
  Video samples of gibbon behaviour
  News section presenting the latest information on gibbon biology and conservation
  Complete list and abstracts of all our publications
  Full texts of several of our publications
  Theses produced by members of the Gibbon Research Lab.
  Links to other gibbon-related sites
  Links to the members of the Gibbon Research Lab. and instructions on how to find us

Research Projcts

Currently, most of my research is directed at gibbon conservation and the role of gibbons in Asian cultures.

Gibbon conservation:
Gibbons include some of the most endangered primate species. Several of my publications address conservation issues (see list of publications) and I carry out gibbon status surveys all over the gibbons' distribution area. In order to help save the gibbons in their natural habitat, I initiated the Gibbon Consercation Alliance, a non-profit organization supporting gibbon conservation projects.

In addition, I am currently conducting a long-term study on the role of gibbons in Asian cultures. For this study, I am compiling and comparing the occurrence of these apes in folktales and traditional figurative art from all over East Asia.

My other research interests are focussing on the utilisation of a comparative approach to investigate various aspects of social behaviour such as communication, social organisation, and reproductive patterns in gibbons and other primates, with an emphasis on the evolutionary significance of these factors. I have a special interest in the vocalizations of the gibbons, and many of my publications describe the variability, function, inheritance and evolution of the gibbon vocal repertoire. Gibbons form strong pair bonds which usually last many years. I am also interested in elucidating the proximate and ultimate mechanisms of pair bond formation, maintenance, and differences among gibbon species.

Yellow-cheeked crested gibbon (Nomascus gabriellae) male

Logo Gibbon Conservation Alliance

Banner Gibbon Network

Please also visit the website of the Gibbon Consercation Alliance. The Gibbon Conservation Alliance is a non-profit organistion dedicated to gibbon conservation and research on gibbon biology. In addition, the GCA aims at increasing the presence of gibbons in the media and provides information on gibbons, the threats to their survival and the relevance of gibbon conservation. Please also visit the website of the Gibbon Network. It is a companion site to the Gibbon Research Lab., but it has not been updated in a while. It was designed to help connect people interested in gibbon conservation and reseach. It offers a list of field sites in South-east Asia specializing in gibbon research and reintroduction, a survey of the zoo gibbon population, information on gibbon studbooks, a list of ongoing or recently completed gibbon-related projects, a list of the publications and theses on gibbons, and gibbon fact sheets.


Dr. habil. Thomas Geissmann
Anthropological Institute
University Zürich-Irchel
Winterthurerstrasse 190
CH - 8057 Zürich / Switzerland

Phone: +41 - 1 - 635 54 24
or:         +41 - 1 - 635 54 11

Pictures on this site copyright by Thomas Geissmann, unless noted otherwise.