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SEMINAR: PhD Proposal Seminars

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Today's date is Monday, January 25, 2021
PhD Proposal Seminars : School of Anatomy, Physiology & Human Biology Seminar Series Other events...
Jaya Matthews: Socioecology of eastern chimpanzees in Nyungwe National Park, Rwanda: Assessing the impact of food availability on grouping patterns

Group-living provides many individual benefits but inevitably there are associated costs, principally surrounding competition for shared resources. Primate social organisation varies considerably within and between species, and socioecological theory seeks to explain this variation through ecological characteristics such as the availability, distribution and abundance of important resources. Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) have a fluid social system whereby individuals form parties that fluctuate in size, composition, and duration. As a result of this social flexibility, chimpanzees provide an ideal model within which to examine the external ecological and social influences on grouping patterns. My PhD aims to assess the impact of seasonal food availability on grouping patterns of eastern chimpanzees subsisting in a marginal forested habitat. This population (for which there exists very little ecological and no social information) is subject to increased competition due to low resource diversity and productivity and I expect that the added effect of seasonality will place strong constraints on sociality and grouping patterns.

Alexandra Miller: Understanding the social structure and ecological basis for the formation of “supergroups” in Ruwenzori colobus monkeys in Rwanda

The project aims to shed light on the social organisation of a supergroup of Ruwenzori colobus monkeys in Rwanda. The group numbers 500+ individuals, one of the largest primate groups ever recorded. Very little is known about the ecological preconditions (resource abundance and distribution) that allow these primates to live in such extremely large groups and nothing is known about how these supergroups are internally structured. The proposed field research is designed to fill this knowledge gap. A multilevel social system has been proposed due to the socioecological convergence with the snubnosed monkeys inhabiting the forests of China, based on similarities in home range size, diet and ranging patterns. Multilevel societies consist of core one-male, multi-female units (OMU) which associate to form higher social groupings. By studying these supergroups of Ruwenzori colobus the first instance of multilevel social organisation in African colobines may be unveiled. Due to superficial similarities with human multilevel societies, this project also has implications for an understanding of human social evolution.
Speaker(s) Jaya Matthews & Alexandra Miller, School of Anatomy, Physiology & Human Biology
Location Room 1.81, Anatomy building (north), The University of Western Australia
Contact Deborah Hull <[email protected]> : 6488 3313
URL https://www.aphb.uwa.edu.au/research/seminars
Start Tue, 22 Mar 2016 13:00
End Tue, 22 Mar 2016 14:00
Submitted by Deborah Hull <[email protected]>
Last Updated Fri, 18 Mar 2016 15:15
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