Dr. Jan Gogarten

Applied Zoology and Nature Conservation

Loitzer Str. 26
17489 Greifswald

Tel.: +49 (0)3834 420-4273


Webpage: http://jangogarten.weebly.com/


Research Interests

I am interested in the diverse communities of organisms that associate with primates, the ecological and evolutionary processes shaping them, and their impact on primate health. This includes work on communities of bacteria and eukaryotic parasites in primate guts, viruses infecting these bacteria, and communities of flies that form long-term associations with social groups, potentially serving as disease vectors. This includes recent work on wild primate phages that showed that many co-diverged with their superhosts over millions of years and the behavioral factors that shape these communities.

Unfortunately, zoonotic pathogens represent a large proportion of emerging infectious diseases and pose a threat to global human health. Classic fishing expeditions targeting wildlife document high levels of microorganism diversity, but struggle to identify pathogens relevant to human health. My work draws on a natural experiment – non-human primates, our closest living relatives, are immunologically and physiologically similar to humans making them susceptible to many of the same pathogens. I use non-human primate populations as sentinels for infectious microorganisms that have the potential to become emerging diseases. My research suggest that disease also plays a critical role in regulating wildlife populations and in their long-term conservation. Over the last several years, I have contributed to the development of molecular methods that enable pathogen detection in a diversity of sample types; most notably, detection in bones, feces, and carrion flies in ways that facilitate the generation of genomic data.

I am also interested in what influences primate behavior and understanding the effects of climate and land cover changes on wild populations. I use both longitudinal studies building on several decades of research in Taï National Park, Côte d’Ivoire and Kibale National Park, Uganda, studies of variation across landscapes, and comparative studies between species. To do this work I developing tools to monitor biodiversity to help inform conservation initiatives and inform our understanding of what limits population sizes, but also generate comparative datasets to explore the costs and benefits of sociality. This includes traditional survey methods, but also includes fly-derived DNA as a tool to monitor biodiversity.

I am new to Uni Greifswald and keen to work with students here; if you are interested in working with me on these or other topics please get in touch!


External collaborators

Dr. Fabian Leendertz - Helmholtz Institute for One Health – Ecology and evolution of microorganism communities of non-human primates

Dr. Sébastien Calvignac-Spencer – Robert Koch Institute– Ecology and evolution of microorganism communities of non-human primates

Dr. Roman Wittig – Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology - Ecology and evolution of microorganism communities of non-human primates in Taï National Park, Côte d’Ivoire

Dr. Jessica Rothman – Hunter College - Primate-fly associations and factors influencing primate abundance in Kibale National Park, Uganda

Dr. Colin Chapman – George Washington University - Primate-fly associations and factors influencing primate abundance in Kibale National Park, Uganda

Dr. Tony Goldberg – University of Wisconsin-Madison - Primate-fly associations and factors influencing primate abundance in Kibale National Park, Uganda


Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.de/citations?user=1LXmE-wAAAAJ&hl=en

  1. Jahan, M., Calvignac-Spencer, S., Chapman, C.A., Kalbitzer, U., Leendertz, F. H., Omeja, P. A., Sarkar, D., Ulrich, M., Gogarten, J. F. (2023): The Movement of Pathogen Carrying Flies at the Human–Wildlife Interface. EcoHealth. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10393-022-01621-8
  2. Gogarten JF, Rühlemann M, Archie E, Tung J, Akoua-Koffi C, Bang C, Deschner T, Muyembe-Tamfun J-J, Robbins MM, Schubert G, Surbeck M, Wittig RM, Zuberbühler K, Baines JF, Franke A, Leendertz FH, Calvignac-Spencer S. (2021) Primate phageomes are structured by superhost phylogeny and environment. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 118: e2013535118.
  3. Calvignac-Spencer S*, Düx A*, Gogarten JF*, Patrono LV*. (2021) Molecular archeology of human viruses. In: Advances in Virus Research (eds. Kielian, M, Mettenleiter, TC & Roossinck, MJ). Academic Press, pp. 31-61.
  4. Calvignac-Spencer S*, Düx A*, Gogarten JF*, Leendertz FH*, Patrono LV*. (2021) A great ape perspective on the origins and evolution of human viruses. In: Advances in Virus Research (eds. Kielian, M, Mettenleiter, TC & Roossinck, MJ). Academic Press, pp. 1-26.
  5. de Mesquita CPB, Nichols LM, Gebert M, Vanderburgh C, Bocksberger G, Lester JD, Kalan AK, Dieguez P, McCarthy MS, Agbor A, Varona PA, Ayimisin EA, Bessone M, Chancellor R, Cohen H, Coupland C, Deschner T, Egbe VE, Goedmakers A, Granjon A, Grueter CC, Head J, Hernandez-Aguilar RA, Jeffery KJ, Jones S, Kadam P, Kaiser M, Lapuente J, Larson B, Marrocoli S, Morgan D, Mugerwa B, Mulindahabi F, Neil E, Niyigaba P, Pacheco L, Piel AK, Robbins MM, Rundus A, Sanz C, Sciaky L, Sheil D, Sommer V, Stewart FA, Ton E, van Schijndel J, Vergnes V, Wessling EG, Wittig RM, Yuh YG, Yurkiw K, Zuberbühler K, Gogarten JF, Heintz-Buschart A, Muellner-Riehl AN, Boesch C, Kühl H, Fierer N, Dunn RR, Arandjelovic M. (2021) Structure of the chimpanzee gut microbiome across their range. mSystems. 6: e01269-01220.
  6. Mielke A, Preis A, Samuni L, Gogarten JF, Lester J, Crockford C, Wittig RM. (2021) Consistency of social interactions in sooty mangabeys and chimpanzees. Frontiers Ecology and Evolution. 8: 603677.
  7. Hou R, Reyna-Hurtado R, Omeja P, Tumwesigye C, Sarkar D, Gogarten JF, Chapman CA. (2021) Long-term trends in a forest ungulate community: Park establishment increases numbers, but poaching is a constant threat. Zoological Research. 42: 1-5.
  8. Gogarten JF, Calvignac-Spencer S, Nunn CL, Ulrich M, Saiepour N, Nielsen HV, Deschner T, Fichtel C, Kappeler PM, Knauf S, Müller-Klein N, Ostner J, Robbins MM, Sangmaneedet S, Schülke O, Surbeck M, Wittig RM, Sliwa A, Strube C, Leendertz FH, Roos C, Noll A. (2020) Metabarcoding of eukaryotic parasite communities describes diverse parasite assemblages spanning the primate phylogeny. Molecular Ecology Resources. 20: 204-215.
  9. Gogarten JF*, Hoffmann C*, Arandjelovic M, Sachse A, Merkel K, Dieguez P, Boesch C, Agbor A, Angedakin S, Brazzola G, Corogenes K, Jones S, Langergraber KE, Lee K, Marrocoli S, Murai M, Sommer V, Zuberbuehler K, Kühl H, Leendertz FH, Calvignac-Spencer S. (2020) Fly-derived DNA and camera traps are complementary tools for assessing mammalian biodiversity. Environmental DNA. 2: 63-76.
  10. Düx A*, Lequime S*, Patrono LV, Vrancken B, Boral S, Gogarten JF, Hilbig A, Horst D, Merkel K, Prepoint B, Santibanez S, Schlotterbeck J, Suchard MA, Ulrich M, Widulin N, Mankertz A, Leendertz FH, Harper K, Schnalke T, Lemey P*, Calvignac-Spencer S*. (2020) Measles virus and rinderpest virus divergence dated to the sixth century BCE. Science. 368:1367-70.
  11. Mubemba B, Gogarten JF, Schuenemann V, Düx A, Lang A, Nowak K, Pleh K, Reiter E, Ulrich M, Agbor A, Brazzola G, Deschner T, Dieguez P, Granjon AC, Jones S, Junker J, Wessling E, Arandjelovic M, Kuehl H, Wittig RM, Leendertz FH*, Calvignac-Spencer S*. (2020) Geographically structured genomic diversity of non-human primate-infecting Treponema pallidum subsp. pertenue. Microbial Genomics. 6: 1:13.
  12. Chapman CA, Bicca-Marques JC, Dunham AE, Fan P, Fashing PJ, Gogarten JF, Guo S, Huffman MA, Kalbitzer U, Li B, Ma C, Matsuda I, Omeja PA, Sarkar D, Sengupta R, Serio-Silva JC, Tsuji Y, Stenseth NC. (2020) Primates can be a rallying symbol to promote tropical forest restoration. Folia Primatologica. 91:669–687.
  13. Gillespie T, Ahouka S, Banza C,  Ancrenaz M, Berg R, Calvignac-Spencer S, Düx A, Gogarten JF, Patrono LV, Couacy-Hymann E, Deschner T, Robbins M, Wittig R, Fuh-Neba T, Herbinger I, Kalema-Zikusoka G, Kone I, Lonsdorf EV, Nzassi PM, Raphael J, Mjungu DC, Refisch J, Rwego IB, Surbeck M, Wich S Leendertz FH. (2020) COVID-19: protect great apes during human pandemics. Nature. 579: 497. 
  14. Mubemba B, Chanove E, Mätz-Rensing K, Gogarten JF, Düx A, Merkel K, Röthemeier C, Sachse A, Rase H, Humle T, Banville G, Tchoubar M, Calvignac-Spencer S, Colin C, Leendertz FH. (2020) Yaws disease caused by Treponema pallidum subspecies pertenue in wild chimpanzee, Guinea, 2019. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 26:1283.
  15. Gogarten JF, Düx A, Mubemba B, Pléh K, Hoffmann C, Mielke A, Müller-Tiburtius J, Sachse A, Wittig RM, Calvignac-Spencer S, Leendertz FH. (2019) Tropical rainforest flies carrying pathogens form stable associations with social non-human primates. Molecular Ecology. 28: 4242– 4258.
  16. Gogarten JF, Ulrich M, Bhuva N, Garcia J, Jain K, Lee B, Löhrich T, Oleynik A, Couacy-Hymann E, Fuh Neba T, Mishra N, Briese T, Calvignac-Spencer S, Lipkin WI, Leendertz FH. (2019) A Novel Orthohepadnavirus Identified in a Dead Maxwell’s Duiker (Philantomba maxwellii) in Taï National Park, Côte d’Ivoire. Viruses. 11, 279.
  17. Chapman CA, Bicca-Marques JC, Calvignac-Spencer S, Fan P, Fashing PJ, Gogarten JF, Guo S, Hemingway CA, Leendertz FH, Li B, Matsuda I, Hou R, Serio-Silva JC, Stenseth NC. (2019) Games academics play and their consequences: How authorship, h-index, and journal impact factors are shaping the future of academia. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 286: 20192047.
  18. Souza TML*,Vieira YR*, Delatorre E*, Barbosa-Lima G, Luiz RLF, Vizzoni A, Jain K, Miranda MD, Bhuva N, Gogarten JF, Ng J, Thakkar R, Calheiros AS, Monteiro APT, Bozza PT, Bozza FA, Tschoeke DA, Leomil L, de Mendonça MCL, Rodrigues CDdS, Torres MC, Filippis AMBd, Nogueira RMR, Thompson FL, Lemos C, Durovni B, Cerbino-Neto J, Morel CM, Lipkin WI*, Mishra N*. (2019) Emergence of the East-Central-South-African genotype of Chikungunya virus in Brazil and the city of Rio de Janeiro years before surveillance detection. Scientific Reports. 9: 2760.
  19. Gogarten JF, Schubert G, Leendertz FH, and Calvignac-Spencer S. (2019) The chimpanzees of the Taï Forest as models for hominine microorganism ecology and evolution. In: The Chimpanzees of Taï Forest. Boesch C & Wittig R eds., Cambridge University Press. p366-384.
  20. Gogarten JF, Davies TJ, Benjamino J, Gogarten JP, Graf J, Mielke A, Mundry R, Nelson MC, Wittig RM, Leendertz FH*, Calvignac-Spencer S*. (2018) Factors influencing bacterial microbiome composition in a wild non-human primate community in Taï National Park, Côte d’Ivoire. The ISME Journal. 12: 2559-74.
  21. Knauf S*, Gogarten JF*, Schuenemann VJ*, De Nys HM*, Düx A, Strouhal M, Mikalová  L, Bos KI, Armstrong R, Batamuzi EK, Chuma IS, Davoust B, Diatta G, Fyumagwa RD, Kazwala RR, Keyyu JD, Lejora IAV, Levasseur A, Liu H, Mayhew MA, Mediannikov O, Raoult D, Wittig RM, Roos C, Leendertz FH, Šmajs D, Nieselt K, Krause J*, Calvignac-Spencer S*. (2018) Nonhuman primates across sub-Saharan Africa are infected with the yaws bacterium Treponema pallidum subsp. pertenue. Emerging Microbes and Infections. 7: 157.
  22. Mielke A, Samuni L, Preis A, Gogarten JF, Wittig RM*, Crockford C*. (2018) Flexible decision making in grooming partner choice in sooty mangabeys and chimpanzees. Royal Society Open Science. 5: 172143.
  23. Hoffmann C*, Zimmermann F*, Biek R, Kuehl H, Nowak K, Mundry R, Agbor A, Angedakin S, Arandjelovic M, Blankenburg A, Brazolla G, Corogenes K, Couacy-Hymann E, Deschner T, Dieguez P, Dierks K, Düx A, Dupke S, Eshuis H, Formenty P, Ginath Yuh Y, Goedmakers A, Gogarten JF, Granjon A, McGraw S, Grunow R, Hart J, Jones S, Junker J, Kiang J, Langergraber, Lapuente J, Lee K, Leendertz SAJ, Léguillon F, Leinert V, Löhrich T, Marrocoli S, Mätz-Rensing K, Meier A, Merkel K, Metzger S, Murai M, Niedorf S, De Nys JM, Sachse A, van Schijndel J, Thiesen U, Ton E, Wu D, Wieler LH, Boesch C, Klee SR, Wittig RM, Calvignac-Spencer S, Leendertz FH. (2017) Persistent anthrax as a major driver of wildlife mortality in a tropical rainforest. Nature. 548: 82-86.
  24. Gogarten JF, Calvignac-Spencer S, and Leendertz FH. (2017) Ebola virus disease. The International Encyclopedia of Primatology. A. Fuentes, Editor. Wiley & Blackwell Publishers. p. 323-325.
  25. Zimmermann F, Köhler SM, Nowak K, Dupke S, Barduhn A, Düx, Lang A, De Nys HM, Gogarten JF, Grunow R, Couacy-Hymann E, Wittig RM, Klee SR, Leendertz FH. (2017) Low levels of antibody prevalence against Bacillus cereus biovar anthracis indicate high rate of lethal infections in wildlife. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 11: e0005960. 
  26. Mielke A, Samuni L, Preis A, Gogarten JF, Crockford C*, Wittig, RM*. (2017) Bystanders intervene to impede grooming in Western chimpanzees and sooty mangabeys. Royal Society Open Science. 4: 171296.
  27. Gogarten JF, Düx A, Schuenemann VJ, Nowak K, Boesch C, Wittig RM, Krause J, Calvignac-Spencer S, and Leendertz FH. (2016) Tools for opening new chapters in the book of Treponema pallidum evolutionary history. Clinical Microbiology and Infection. 22: 916-921.
  28. Gogarten JF*, Jacob AL*, Ghai RR, Rothman JM, Twinomugisha D, Wasserman MD, and Chapman CA. (2015) Group size dynamics over 15+ years in an African forest primate community. Biotropica. 47: 101-112.
  29. Chapman CA, van Bavel B, Bleecker JC, Boodman C, Ghai R, Gogarten JF, Hartter J, Mechak LE, Omeja PA, Poonawala S, Zastavniouk C, and Goldberg T. (2015) Providing health care to improve community perceptions of protected areas. Oryx. 49: 636-642.
  30. Leendertz SAJ*, Gogarten JF*, Düx A, Calvignac-Spencer S, and Leendertz FH. Assessing the evidence supporting fruit bats as the primary reservoirs for Ebola viruses. (2015) Ecohealth. 13: 18-25.
  31. Chapman CA, Bonnell TR, Schoof VAM, Gogarten JF, and Calmé S. (2015) Competing pressures on populations: long-term dynamics of food availability, food quality, disease, stress, and animal abundance. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 370: 20140112.
  32. Marí Saéz A*, Weiss S*, Nowak K*, Lapeyre V*, Zimmermann F, Düx A, Kühl HS, Kaba M, Regnaut S, Merkel K, Sachse A, Thiesen U, Villányi L, Boesch C, Dabrowski PW, Radonić A, Nitsche A, Leendertz SAJ, Petterson S, Becker S, Krähling V, Couacy-Hymann E, Akoua-Koffi C, Weber N, Schaade L, Fahr J, Borchert M, Gogarten JF*, Calvignac-Spencer S*, Leendertz FH. (2015) Zoonotic origin of the West African Ebola epidemic. EMBO Molecular Medicine. 7: 17-23.
  33. Gogarten JF, Bonnell TR, Brown LM, Campenni M, Wasserman MD, and Chapman CA. (2014) Increasing group size alters behaviour of a folivorous primate. International Journal of Primatology. 35: 590-608.
  34. Chapman CA, Snaith TV, and Gogarten JF. (2014) How ecological conditions affect the abundance and social organization of folivorous monkeys. In: Primates and Cetaceans: Field Research and Conservation of Complex Mammalian Societies.  Yamagiwa J & Karczmarski L eds., Springer Japan. p. 3-23.
  35. Gogarten JF*, Akoua-Koffi C*, Calvignac-Spencer S*, Leendertz SAJ*, Weiss S*, Couacy-Hymann S, Koné I, Peeters M, Wittig RM, Boesch C, Hahn BH, and Leendertz FH. (2014) The ecology of primate retroviruses – an assessment of 12 years of retroviral studies in the Taï National Park area, Côte d’Ivoire. Virology. 460–461: 147–153.
  36. Chapman CA, Bonnell TR, Gogarten JF, Lambert JE, Omeja PA, Twinomugisha D, Wasserman MD, and Rothman JM. (2013) Are primates ecosystem engineers? International Journal of Primatology. 34: 1-14.
  37. Miyamoto MM, Allen JA, Gogarten JF, and Chapman CA. (2013) Microsatellite DNA demonstrates different levels of genetic structure in two, unequally sized, neighboring groups of red colobus monkeys. American Journal of Primatology. 75: 478-490.
  38. GreenAG, Swithers KS, Gogarten JF, and Gogarten JP. (2013) Reconstruction of ancestral 16S rRNA reveals mutation bias in the evolution of optimal growth temperature in the Thermotogae phylum. Molecular Biology and Evolution. 30: 2463-2474.
  39. Gogarten JF and Koenig A. (2013) Reproductive seasonality is a poor predictor of receptive synchrony and male reproductive skew among nonhuman primates. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 67: 123-13
  40. Bonnell TR, Chapman CA, Reyna-Hurtado R, Wasserman MD, Campenni M, Gogarten JF, Teichroeb J, and Sengupta R. (2013) Emergent group level navigation: An agent-based evaluation of movement patterns in a folivorous primate. PLoS ONE. 8, e78264.
  41. Gogarten JF and Grine FE. (2013) Seasonal mortality patterns in primates: Implications for the interpretation of microwear. Evolutionary Anthropology. 22: 9-19.
  42. Gogarten JF, Guzman M, Chapman CA, Jacob AL, Omeja PA, and Rothman JM. (2012) What is the predictive power of the colobine protein-to-fiber model and its conservation value? Tropical Conservation Science. 5:381-393.
  43. Chapman CA and Gogarten JF. (2012) Primate conservation: Is the cup half empty or half full? Nature Education Knowledge. 3:7.
  44. Wasserman MD, Chapman CA, Milton K, Gogarten JF, Wittwer DJ, and Ziegler TE. (2012)Estrogenic plant food consumption predicts red colobus monkey (Procolobus rufomitratus) hormonal status and behavior. Hormones and behavior. 62: 553-562.
  45. Gogarten JF, Brown LM, Chapman CA, Marina C, Doran-Sheehy D, Fedigan LM, Grine FE, Perry S, Pusey AE, Sterck EHM, Wich SA, Wright PC (2012). Seasonal mortality patterns in non-human primates: Implications for variation in selection pressures across environments. Evolution. 66:3252-3266.
  46. Chapman CA, Bowman DD, Ghai RR, Goldberg TL, Gogarten JF, Rothman JM, Twinomugisha D, and Walsh C. (2011) Protozoan parasites in group-living primates: Testing the biological island hypothesis. American Journal of Primatology. 74:510-517. 4.