News

Melanie Fenton Awarded Grant from Leakey

FentonCHES Graduate Affiliate Melanie Fenton was just awarded a major grant from the L.S.B. Leakey Foundation to support her dissertation research "Coercive and affiliative mating tactics in olive baboons (Papio anubis)”. Melanie just arrived in Kenya a few weeks ago to commence this research. More details about her field study can be found at the CHES webpage for the Albert Fellows Dissertation Award. Congratulations Melanie!

CHES Featured Research Evening: Tim Bransford

BransfordYesterday CHES held another “Featured Research Evening”, this time showcasing the work of CHES Graduate Affiliate Tim Bransford. For the research that forms the basis of the PhD dissertation he is currently writing, Tim investigated how wild orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii) mothers modulate their diet and activity to meet their energetic demands while lactating as well as to buffer their infants from uncertain and variable energy availability. To do this, he had to collect data on orangutan behavior and physiology (from urine samples) as well as phenological data on forest productivity. Tim also talked at length about what it's like doing field research in the peat swamp forests of Borneo.

Second Lembersky Conferences Opens

rob intro

andrewdu presToday, the Second Lembersky Conference in Human Evolutionary Studies, focused on "Advances in Paleoecology," got off to an excellent start. CHES faculty member Rob Scott opened the conference (photo to right), whose program he developed in collaboration with Andrew Barr (George Washington University). The 3-day conference is showcasing presentations by 17 scholars from across the country and Europe.

Today's program included a lecture Andrew Du (photo to left), who is a CHES Undergraduate Alumnus and is currently a postdoctoral scholar in Organismal Biology & Anatomy at the University of Chicago.

 

Dr. Amy Lu CHES lecture

CHES Lu Lecture Flyer"Recently, Dr. Amy Lu of the State University of New York, Stony Brook, delivered a CHES lecture "Male Takeovers and Infanticide Risk: Broadening the Scope of Potential Costs". Dr. Lu's presentation was based on many years' research with Jacinta Beehner and Thore Bergman (University of Michigan) on wild geladas (Theropithecus gelada) living in the high altitude regions of Ethiopia. Dr. Lu presented fascinating insights, not only about the adaptive vale of infanticide as a male reproductive strategy, but also about female counter-strategies to infanticide and, especially, the costs of infanticide—both direct and "hidden"—on females and youngsters."

Alex Pritchard Awarded Grant from Wenner-Gren

Alex Pritchard with olive baboons

CHES Graduate Affiliate Alex Pritchard was awarded a major grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research to support the study of olive baboons (Papio anubis) that he is currently conducting in Kenya. The title of this research is "Variation of Stress Coping: Life in a Socially Complex World”. More details about Alex's research can be found at the CHES webpage for the Albert Fellows Dissertation Award. Congratulations, Alex!

CHES Featured Research Evening: Dr. Jinchuan Xing

XingLast night was the first of this academic year’s “Featured Research Evenings”, which showcased the work of Dr. Jin Xing, Associate Professor of Genetics here at Rutgers. Jin discussed how the significantly declining costs of genome sequencing is facilitating many new research opportunities, such as clarifying phylogenies (evolutionary trees), the action of natural selection to produce adaptation, and population-level phenomena (such as disease occurrence, divergence times, the nature of extinct ancestors). One of the projects in which Jin has been involved recently is examining genetic diversity in the genus Macaca, which comprises more than 20 species of macaque monkeys in Asia and north Africa. The research has greatly improved our understanding of the genetic diversity and evolution of this group of primates as well as general principles of evolution. It was a very rewarding discussion, one consequence of which was generating ideas for some new lines of research (and teaching) for some of the other CHES members present.

CHES Alumna Dr. Briana Pobiner returns to lecture

pobiner lecture flyerBriana Pobiner, who obtained her PhD in Anthropology here at Rutgers in 2007 (with the dissertation "Hominin-Carnivore Interactions: Evidence From Modern Carnivore Bone Modification and Early Pleistocene Archaeofaunas [Koobi Fora, Kenya; Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania]") returned on October 12 to give a CHES lecture. Dr. Pobiner is the Science Outreach & Education Program Specialist at the Smithsonian Institution, and she continues her field research on human evolution in Africa.

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CHES Grads Sweep NEEP Awards

Dominique Will at NEEPAt this year's NorthEastern Evolutionary Primatology (NEEP) conference (http://www.neevolprimatol.org) in Canisius College, New York, our CHES Grad Affiliates Will Aguado and Dominique Raboin won the awards for best podium presentation and runner up best podium presentation, respectively. Congrats!