Gabriela Bezerra de Melo Daly

Gabriela Bezerra de Melo Daly
University of St Andrews · Centre for Social Learning and Cognitive Evolution



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Gabriela is a visiting scholar at the University of Saint Andrews (Centre for Social learning and Cognitive Evolution). She is a social anthropologist trained in primatology. She completed her PhD at École Normale Supérieure, studying human-chimpanzee social relations at a research institution in Japan. Her ongoing research focuses on cross-cultural differences in social interaction and communication between humans and chimpanzees/bonobos. She is currently conducting fieldwork with language-trained bonobos at the Ape Cognition and Conservation Initiative. Twitter: @Apeanthropology.
Skills and Expertise
Additional affiliations
February 2018 - present
University of St Andrews
  • Visiting scholar
September 2014 - September 2017
Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris
Field of study
  • Anthropology
January 2010 - August 2012
Bielefeld University
Field of study
  • Science and Technology Studies
March 2004 - December 2009
Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
Field of study
  • Anthropology


Publications (6)
IN "CAHIERS D'ANTHROPOLOGIE SOCIALE" Social transmission of behavior between species is a multifaceted phenomenon that requires a theoretical and methodological refinement beyond concepts such as enculturation. There are contexts in which species-typical patterns necessitate social support to develop; for instance, new chimpanzee mothers in captivi...
How do humans and chimpanzees set and blur boundaries between species when interacting with each other? This is the leitmotif of this etho-ethnography at the intersection of social anthropology, social studies of science and primatology. This endeavor is based on long-term fieldwork conducted in a cognitive sciences laboratory in Japan, which teach...
Full-text available
The modern categorization also referred to as modern constitution has set Nature and Culture apart as two distinct ontological provinces, separating the pole of human beings and culture from the pole of non-humans and nature. Recent sociocultural anthropology and social studies of science have revisited the historical abyss between Nature and Cultu...
We describe two cases of intensive care in chimpanzees at the KUPRI; Reo with acute tetraparesis and Puchi with subarachnoid hemorrhage. These cases had poor prognosis that could lead to euthanasia. Not quite so in Japan. Reo was 24-year-old when he suffered of acute tetraparesis from inflammation around the C1 and C2 level. He developed decubitus...
Rousseau’s three centenary is a good opportunity to introduce his fundamental ideas and to apply them to new domains, such as primatology. The concept of the state of nature, developed in the first part of the second Discourse, and the dichotomy between nature and culture that it implies are treated in the different contributions presented in this...


Cited By


Projects (4)
This volunteer project provides mentorship to the Tupi-Guarani community of the indigenous reservation of Piaçaguera in Peruíbe, Brazil. It provides assistance in digital inclusion, mentorship in data collection methods for linguistic revitalization, and grant seeking to fund the community's projects. This project is conducted in partnership with Luã Apyká, local articulator (Linguistics, UNICAMP). Instagram: @nhee.pora
Categorization is key to how humans process information on a daily basis and is a fundamental feature in human evolution and culture. Our closest evolutionary neighbor, chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), use perceptual and non-perceptual features to form groupings, however, the structure of sequences in a manipulative action differs for both species. In this series of experiments, we investigate two cognitive building blocks of categorization; shape and color. Considering human categorization biases, we assess chimpanzees’ selection and retrieval patterns of 3D objects in cross-matching shapes and colors.
This project is a long-term etho-ethnography of human-chimpanzee social relations at the Primate Research Institute of Kyoto University. It is complemented by a short-term multi-sited ethnography in other research locations in Japan, and in the Kyoto University field site of Bossou, in the Republic of Guinea. This project resulted in a PhD thesis (nominated PSL Prize), currently being edited in book format for publication.