My research in primate behavioral ecology focuses on foraging and ranging behavior, particularly movement ecology, fission-fusion dynamics, and quantifying resource dispersion. I conducted my dissertation research on the foraging and ranging behavior of Guianan bearded saki monkeys (Chiropotes sagulatus) at a field site that I established in the area formerly known as the Upper Essequibo Conservation Concession in Central Guyana. This site harbors eight species of sympatric primates and is located in one of the most undisturbed regions of the tropical world. I continue to study the behavioral ecology of these fascinating primate seed predators, including group cohesiveness and fission-fusion behavior, formation of polyspecific associations, patterns of male affiliation, and community ecology.
I am increasingly interested in the movement and foraging ecology of humans as well, and am now studying the ecological and sociocultural factors that influence the foraging decisions of Waiwai hunters. While classic optimal foraging models like the patch choice and diet breadth models have proven useful for understanding human hunting decisions, I am also interested in how sociocultural variables like attitudes, perceptions, and meanings associated with different places interact to affect the optimality of hunting behavior.
Much of my research involves the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and agent-based models. These tools allow for robust analyses of both fine-scale and broad-scale questions in primate and human behavioral ecology but are underutilized by primatologists and evolutionary anthropologists. In an effort to expand the use of these methods within the field, I am currently editing a book volume for Cambridge University Press entitled GPS and GIS in Primatology: Methods and Practice to be released in Summer 2016.