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Primate Palate: Orangutans, Obesity, and Human Evolution

Speaker(s): Erin Vogel

New York, NY

June 6, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


© Tim Laman

How can studying what orangutans eat help us better understand the obesity epidemic in humans? Dr. Erin Vogel shares her research on wild orangutans in the tropical forests of Sumatra and Borneo, illuminating how their diet, behavior, and metabolism can provide insights into the human condition. Vogel explores how orangutans are uniquely adapted for survival in Borneo’s forest and how this relates to human evolution.

This event is produced in partnership with the American Museum of Natural History.

Sponsored by
Ann and Gordon Getty
Camilla and George Smith

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The Leakey Foundation


American Museum of Natural History
56 West 81st St.
New York, NY 10024 United States
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Erin Vogel

Erin Vogel is associate professor of anthropology and human evolutionary studies at Rutgers University. Her research interests revolve around how and why organisms acquire and select the food resources they need for survival. She studies how ecological variation influences the behavior, social organization, and morphology of non-human primates and early hominins. Vogel’s current research focuses on behavioral, physiological, and morphological adaptations to periods of fruit scarcity in wild orangutans. She examines how the properties of foods consumed by wild orangutans vary with the availability of preferred fruit. Erin Vogel has received four Leakey Foundation grants for her research on primate behavior.

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