Harmonie Klein is a PhD candidate studying hunting and meat sharing among wild chimpanzees in Gabon. This community of chimpanzees is newly habituated to human presence and Klein is learning a lot about their cooperative behaviors.
What makes humans such "adaptable" and flexible creatures, especially when it comes to what we eat? Primates, in general, can survive on a wide variety of foods, but there are also a lot of species with a range of really specialized diets, like those focused on insects, leaves, or fruit, and all of these foods have different challenges when it comes to digesting them. Mareike Janiak's research is focused on understanding how the species in these different dietary niches have adapted to digesting their foods.
Dorien de Vries is tracing the evolutionary history of two groups of mammals that share some surprising similarities. Anthropoid primates (like humans, gorillas, baboons, and capuchins) and a group of rodents called the hystricognaths (like capybaras, guinea pigs, and naked mole rats). Their migratory histories make these animals excellent case studies for studying how ecological factors may have affected the evolution of their diversity.
Will primates move to track changes in their habitats, or might they modify their behavior, or even adapt, in place? If they do move, why? What elements of their habitats are actually changing that make it more or less preferable? These questions frame Leakey Foundation grantee Andrew Bernard's dissertation research in Gunung Palung National Park, West Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo.