CHES Graduate Affiliate Alex Pritchard passed his doctoral dissertation defense today. Alex's dissertation "Variation of Stress Coping in a Socially Complex Primate" is based on his field research on olive baboons (Papio anubis) he conducted for 18 months at the Project Papio Research Site in Kenya, followed by laboratory analyses he conducted at SUNY Stony Brook and Rutgers. Alex's study was a wide-ranging investigation involving carefully designed, noninvasive field experiments to characterize variation in "coping style" in adult baboons, systematic measurement of behavior, social network analysis, and collection and analysis of fecal glucocorticoid samples. Alex's insightful work improves our understanding of the interplay of "personality" dimensions (e.g., coping style and stress reactivity), but, unlike most previous research in Animal Behavior, on a species of primate characterized by significant social complexity. The members of his committee were, starting from Alex's image in the center of the photo, and moving clockwise: Ryne Palombit (Dissertation Committee Chair, and Director of Project Papio in Kenya), Erin Vogel (Director of the Laboratory for Primate Dietary Ecology and Physiology, where Alex performed some of his hormonal analyses), Susan Cachel, and Alecia Carter (outside committee member from University College, London). Congratulations, Alex!
CHES Grad Alex Pritchard Passes Doctoral Dissertation Defense