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Primate Behavior and Ecology (358-0-1)


Katherine Ryan Amato
1810 Hinman Avenue, Room A62
Katie Amato is a biological anthropologist studying the gut microbiota in the broad context of host ecology and evolution. She is particularly interested in understanding how changes in the gut microbiota impact human nutrition and health in populations around the world, especially those with limited access to nutritional resources.

Meeting Info

Harris Hall L04: Mon, Wed 9:30AM - 10:50AM

Overview of class

How do colobus monkeys eat mostly leaves and seeds while spider monkeys specialize on fruit? Why do marmosets live in pair-bonded family groups while geladas live in multi-level societies? Within the Primate order an astounding range of behaviors and ecological strategies are represented. What processes led to this extreme diversification? What can we learn about human biology from studying it? In this course we will examine the behavior and ecology of non-human primates in a range of contexts, including nutrition, cognition, sociality, and conservation. We will begin with an overview of the Primate order that describes relationships between families of primates. We will then shift our focus to behavioral and ecological theory, integrating discussions of both classic studies and current research topics. At the end of this course, you will appreciate the abundant variation in behavior and ecology that exists across the Primate order, understand theories explaining the proximate and ultimate causes of this variation, and recognize how studies of non-human primates impact our perspectives on human behavior and ecology.

Evaluation Method

Two exams, leading discussion, final project, final presentation

Class Materials (Required)

Strier, K.B. 2011. Primate Behavioral Ecology, 4th edition.

Class Attributes

Social & Behavioral Sciences Distro Area