Department of Anthropology
Office SAC 5.150
Lab SAC 5.184
Primate Behavior and Molecular Ecology
I conduct long-term behavioral and ecological field research on several species in the primate community of Amazonian Ecuador to investigate the ways in which ecological conditions (such as the abundance and distribution of food resources) and the strategies of conspecifics together shape primate behavior and social relationships and ultimately determine the kinds of societies we see primates living in. This is a crucial and central focus in evolutionary anthropology, as understanding the ways in which behavior and social systems are shaped by environmental pressures is a fundamental part of the discipline.
I complement my field studies with molecular
genetic laboratory work in order to address issues that are typically
difficult to explore through observational studies alone, including
questions about dispersal behavior, gene flow, mating patterns,
population structure, and the fitness consequences of individual
behavior. In collaboration with colleagues, I have also
using molecular techniques to investigate a number of broader questions
concerning the evolutionary history, social systems, and ecological
roles of various New World primates.