He was born in Catalonia, Spain and received a BA (1990) from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (Spain), and a master's degree (1995) and PhD (1997) from Emory University (United States), under the supervision of Prof. Michael Tomasello.
From 1997 to 1999 he was a lecturer at the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Liverpool (UK). Then in 1999 he moved to the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany where he is currently a senior scientist, co-founder and co-director of the Wolfgang Köhler Primate Research Centre. Call also holds the post of Professor in Evolutionary Origins of Mind at the University of St Andrews, where his focus is on technical and social problem solving in animals with a special emphasis on the great apes.
Among other topics, Call has worked to identify the unique cognitive and cultural processes that distinguish humans from their nearest primate relatives, the great apes. He has published two books and nearly two hundred research articles and book chapters on the cognition and behavior of apes and other animals. He is currently the editor of the Journal of Comparative Psychology and a member of the editorial board of several other academic journals.
In 2013 Call was elected a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, and in March 2016 was elected a Corresponding Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh In July 2019, he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA), the United Kingdom's national academy for the humanities and social sciences.