Carol M. Berman

Ph.D., Cambridge University, 1978
Office: Spaulding Bldg 6, Room 165
Phone: (716) 645-0429

Research Interests

Primate social behavior, parent-offspring relationships, animal behavior, evolution of behavior, kinship, conflict management, ethological methods

Selected Publications

[Note: Please click here for a complete list of publications.]  

B. Chapais and C. M. Berman. KINSHIP AND BEHAVIOR IN PRIMATES. Oxford University Press, New York, 520 pp., 2004.

C.M. Berman. Developmental Aspects of Kin Bias. In: KINSHIP AND BEHAVIOR IN PRIMATES. Edited by B. Chapais and C.M. Berman, Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 317-346, 2004.

C.M. Berman, C.S. Ionica and J-H Li. Dominance style among Tibetan macaques (Macaca thibetana) on Mt Huangshan, China. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PRIMATOLOGY, 25(6): 1283-1312, 2004.

C.M. Berman, C.S. Ionica, M. Dorner and J-H Li. Post-conflict affiliation between former opponents in Macaca thibetana: For males only? INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PRIMATOLOGY, 27: 827-854, 2006.

C.M. Berman, J-H Li, H. Ogawa, C.S. Ionica and H. Yin. Primate tourism and infant risk among Macaca thibetana at Mt. Huangshan, China. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PRIMATOLOGY, 28:1123-1141, 2007.

C.M. Berman, C.S. Ionica and J-H Li. Male tolerance and support among male Tibetan macaques (Macaca thibetana) on Mt Huangshan, China. BEHAVIOUR, 144: 631-661, 2007.

C.M. Berman, H. Ogawa, C.S. Ionica, H. Yin and J-H Li. Variation in kin bias over time in a group of Tibetan macaques at Huangshan: contest competition, time constraints or stress response?, BEHAVIOUR, 145: 863-896, 2008. 

C.M. Berman. Kinship: Family Ties and Social Behavior. In: Primates in Perspective, 2nd edition. Edited by C.J. Campbell, A Fuentes, K.C. MacKinnon, M. Panger and S.K. Bearder. Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 576-587, 2010.

C.M. Berman and B. Thierry. Variation in Kin Bias: Species Differences and Time Constraints in Macaques, BEHAVIOUR, 147: 1863-1887, 2010.

C. M. Berman. Primate Kin Preferences: Explaining Diversity. In: C. A. Salmon and T. K. Shackelford (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Family Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 248-278, 2011.

K.N Balasubramaniam, K, Dittmar, C.M. Berman, M., Butovskaya, M.A. Cooper, B. Majolo, H. Ogawa, G. Schino, B.Thierry, and Waal. Hierarchical Steepness and Phylogenetic Models I: Phylogenetic Signals in Macaca, ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR., 83: 1207-1218, 2012. Published online:

K.N. Balasubramaniam, C.M. Berman, A. De Marco, K. Dittmar, B. Majolo, H. Ogawa, B.  Thierry, and H. de Vries. Consistency of Dominance Rank Order: A Comparison of David’s Scores with I&SI and Bayesian Methods in macaques. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PRIMATOLOGY, 75: 959-971, 2013. Published online: DOI: 10.1002/ajp.22160.

A. Yanagi and C.M. Berman. Gestural signals during social play in free-ranging rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta): A systematic analysis. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PRIMATOLOGY, Published online: DOI: 10.1002/ajp.22219, 9/30/13.

Current Research Projects

Parent-offspring Relationships and Social Development: Free-ranging rhesus monkeys on Cayo Santiago, P.R.

My long term research concerns parental behavior and infant social development. I am particularly interested in the complex inter-relationships between maternal behavior, early social relationships, social structure and demography. How do young animals become integated into the social structure of their group? How do social structure and demography influence maternal style and social development? What are the consequences of particular maternal styles for the infant's developing social network and for the mother's future reproductive performance? How are individual behavior patterns and social structure passed on from generation to generation?

Conflict Management, Kinship and Social Structure: Tibetan Macaques at Mt. Huangshan, China

Since 2000, I have focused on understanding the behavioral ecology and social structure of a relatively little studied species of macaque--wild Tibetan macaques in China. Working in collaboration with Consuel Ionica and Jinhua Li, I have investigated dominance style, post-conflict affiliation (reconciliation), patterns of male competition and cooperation, and variations in the expression of female kin bias in this species. We have also investigated patterns of conflict prevention, third party post conflict affiliation, and behavioral stress indicators among adults. A common aim in our studies is to test and refinement of theories concerned with the evolutionary origins of social diversity among human and nonhuman primates.

The Impact of Tourism on Primate Behavior and Conservation

Our study group of Tibetan macaques has been monitored by various researchers since 1986 and has been used as a tourist attraction since 1994. This have given us the opportunity to assess the effects of management for tourism by comparing behavior and infant mortality before tourist management began, during several years of management and during a temporary suspension of management in 2003. We found markedly higher rates of infant mortality and aggression among adults in the provisioning area in years of tourist management. Many of the infants died from wounds following fights among the adults. We have been examining specific aspects of tourist management to determine which of them may be responsible for increases in aggression and mortality. 

Undergraduate Courses Offered

APY 246 | Introduction to Primate Behavior
APY 344 | Animal Communication
APY 410 | Senior Seminar
APY 444 | Ethology Practicum (Zoo Projects)

Graduate Courses Offered

APY 518 | Primate Social Behavior
APY 544 | Animal Communication
APY 547 | Ethology Practicum (Zoo Projects)
APY 550 | Evolution Colloquium