CHES Graduate Affiliate Tim Bransford (center in photo) passed his doctoral dissertation this afternoon. Tim's dissertation, "The Energetic and Nutritional Costs of Motherhood in Wild Bornean Orangutans" is based on his research in Borneo for almost two years as well as a database of long-term data collected by many researchers at the Tuanan Research Center over the last 15 years. Tim analyzed an impressive array of diverse data sets, ranging from the behavior and activities of lactating female orangutans, to patterns of fruit production in the peat swamp forest, to nutritional aspects of foods eaten, to physiological states (such as the hormone cortisol, C-peptide of insulin, and ketones, all extracted from urine samples). By comparing how females with infants of different age and in different periods of food productivity, Tim's work sheds much light the challenges of motherhood and the adaptive strategies that allow females to handle them. The members of Tim's dissertation committee were, from left to right: Ryne Palombit, Maria van Noordwijk (outside member, University of Zürich), Erin Vogel (Chair), Rob Scott and, not shown, Melissa Emery-Thompson (outside member, University of New Mexico). Congratulations, Tim!
CHES Grad Affiliate Tim Bransford passes Dissertation Defense