Carol M. Berman
Ph.D., Cambridge University, 1978
Office: Spaulding Bldg 6, Room 165
Phone: (716) 645-0429
Primate social behavior, parent-offspring relationships, animal behavior, evolution of behavior, kinship, conflict management, ethological methods
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