My primary research interests lie at the interface of behavioral ecology and evolutionary anthropology and include the evolution of primate/human sociality and the mechanisms underlying social cohesion.
My particular interests revolve around the evolution of meta-group social organization which describes cases in which individuals of different social units interact and collaborate to varying degrees.
I am currently involved in ongoing field research projects on snub-nosed monkeys in China as well as mountain gorillas and colobus monkeys in Rwanda.
The Biology of Snub-Nosed Monkeys, Douc Langurs, Proboscis Monkeys, and Simakobus
2013 By Nava Science Publishers, Inc.
Field Guide to the Flora and Fauna of the Golden Monkey National Park/Baimaxueshan Nature Reserve, Yunnan, China
2015 By Siri Scientific Press, Manchester, UK
MY LATEST RESEARCH
Socioecology of a montane population of chimpanzees in Rwanda (2015-ongoing)
Social monitoring in a group of zoo-housed gorillas (2015-ongoing)
Determinants of band formation in Angolan colobus monkeys (2015-ongoing)
Social dynamics in golden snub-nosed monkeys (2015-ongoing)
Inter-group interactions in mountain gorillas Project (2014-ongoing)
Feeding Ecology of Mountain Gorillas in the Virunga Volcanoes (Completed)
Survey of lar gibbons in Yunnan (Completed)
Social organization and behavioral adaptations in Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys (Completed)
Determinants of band formation in Angolan colobus monkeys
Angolan colobus monkeys in Rwanda live in supertroops of several hundred individuals. However, 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. Our field research is designed to fill this knowledge gap.
Social dynamics in golden snub-nosed monkeys
Golden snub-nosed monkeys in China form multilevel societies characterized by one-male units embedded within a larger bands. The functional significance of band formation is not yet fully understood, but it could offer individuals better protection from takeover attempts by bachelor males through safety-in-numbers or collective defence. The social dynamics of bachelor groups and reproductive groups are being explored in collaboration with researchers in China.