Advisor: Dr. Ryne Palombit
I am pursuing a B.S. in Evolutionary Anthropology with minors in Psychology and Cognitive Science.
Primatology and the evolution of morality
SENIOR HONORS THESIS RESEARCH
The observational study I am currently planning on carrying will be on captive bonobos (Pan paniscus) at the Cincinnati Zoo. Despite being one of the two primate species most closely related to humans, they are not as well studied as their relative the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes). Bonobos have a patrilineal system which should predict close male-male bonds, but bonobos are also described by many researchers as having a dominance hierarchy in which females are dominant (or co-dominant) to adult males. The question I will ask is: do the males spend more time grooming and associating with other males, or do they spend more time associating and grooming females who seem to hold the dominance in bonobo society? My study aims toward expanding our current knowledge of bonobo social behavior and enhance the comparative data set for potential future studies.