PRIMATE FIELD COURSE 2018
Dr. Paul A. Garber (University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, USA) and Dr. Nicola Schiel (Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco, Brazil) are pleased to offer a three-week field course on primate behavior, ecology, and conservation in northeastern Brazil. This is the second time we are teaching the course, which is designed for undergraduate and graduate students interested in primatology, animal behavior, tropical ecology, conservation, and field biology. The course will involve daily lectures and field observations designed to develop a strong theoretical and empirical framework for studying the diversity and complexity of tropical ecosystems. All lectures, instruction, and written assignments will be in English and therefore students taking the course must be proficient in English. This course is open to undergraduates, recent graduates, and graduate students worldwide.
Each student will conduct an individualized research project on the behavior, ecology, or conservation of a free ranging group of common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) inhabiting the Baracuhy Biological Research Station. Our field site is characterized as a dry thorn scrub forest (Caatinga) habitat. The class will also feature a Global Information Systems (GIS) workshop and a bioacoustic workshop. In addition, students will have the opportunity to learn about the culture, food, and history of Brazil, and to meet and interact with local people who live in the communities adjacent to the field site.
The course will take place from July 5th to July 28th, 2018 at the Baracuhy Biological Field Station, located 4 km from the municipality of Cabaceiras, in the Brazilian state of Paraíba. Faculty and graduate teaching assistants will work closely with students to help them development and conduct their research project including the formulation of objectives and hypotheses, developing an appropriate set of research methods, data collection and analysis, and writing a final report. Research topics include: effects of body size on positional behavior (posture and locomotion); age or sex based differences in diet, activity budget, and foraging patterns; spatial cognition and decision-making; the costs and benefits of affiliative and agonistic social interactions, and marmoset mating systems and the benefits of cooperative infant caregiving.