Derry Taylor

Research Interests

I am a post-doctoral researcher on the NCCR Evolving Language project. This project aims to research the evolution of language from an interdisciplinary perspective by bringing together researchers from linguistics, philosophy, biology, neuroscience, psychology, and computer science. As a part of this project, I am working on the connection between the ontogeny and phylogeny of language, as well as the link between communicative behaviour and mental-state attribution. This involves empirical work including field studies of wild chimpanzees in Budongo forest (Uganda), experimental studies with zoo-housed apes at Basel zoo, and experimental studies of human infants across cultures (Uganda & Switzerland). We also aim to develop new theories of intentional communication and social cognition that are informed by and applicable to evolutionary theory and developmental psychology. On this project I am working with Klaus Zuberbühler (UniNE, Biology), Fabrice Clément (UniNE, Language and Communication Sciences), and Hanjo Glock (UZH, Philosophy).



  • Taylor, D., Dezecache, G., & Davila-Ross, M. (2021). Filling in the gaps: Acoustic gradation increases in the vocal ontogeny of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). American Journal of Primatology, e23249-e23249.


  • ALTSCHUL, D. M., BERAN, M. J., BOHN, M., CASPAR, K. R., FICHTEL, C., FÖRSTERLING, M., ... & Watzek, J. (2019). Collaborative open science as a way to reproducibility and new insights in primate cognition research. Japanese Psychological Review62(3), 205-220.


  • Primates, M., Altschul, D. M., Beran, M. J., Bohn, M., Call, J., DeTroy, S., Duguid, S. J., ... & Hanus, D. (2019). Establishing an infrastructure for collaboration in primate cognition research. PloS One14(10).  


  • Taylor, D., Hartmann, D., Dezecache, G., Te Wong, S., & Davila-Ross, M. (2019). Facial complexity in sun bears: exact facial mimicry and social sensitivity. Scientific Reports9(1), 4961.