Glowacki, Luke, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'The Behavioral Ecology of Intergroup Aggression in a Pastoral Society,' supervised by Dr. Karen L. Kramer
LUKE GLOWACKI, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, received funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'The Behavioral Ecology of Intergroup Aggression in a Pastoral Society,' supervised by Dr. Karen L. Kramer. This research focuses on inter-individual contributions to collective action problems in a nomadic pastoralist society in southwest Ethiopia. Why do some individuals contribute more than others to cooperative behavior? Is variation based on reproductive competition, demographic factors, or behavioral syndromes? Focal domains included participation in intergroup aggression, along with herd-tending, water-hole construction and maintenance, and crop cultivation. Research methods used participant interviews to obtain reproductive histories and demographic background, social network and behavioral data, and social-psychological indices. Preliminary analyses show significant inter-individual variation in cooperation and intra-individual cooperation in differing domains of cooperation. Individuals who are prolific cooperators in one domain may not be more likely to cooperate in other domains. Future analysis will explore the role of reproductive competition, social benefits and networks, and demographic factors in cooperation. Together these will provide the data for tests of competing evolutionary explanations of human cooperation.
Moggi-Cecchi, Dr. Jacopo, U. of Florence, Florence, Italy - To aid oral-history interviews with Aldo and Eugenia Segre for 'Aldo and Eugenia Segre: 50 years of Research in Human Paleontology and Prehistory in Italy'
Atsalis, Dr. Sylvia, San Diego Zoological Society, San Diego, CA - To aid research on 'Menopause and Postreproductive Lifespan in a Cooperatively Breeding Primate: Hormonal Assessment of Aged Langurs'
DR. SYLVIA ATSALIS, San Diego Zoological Society, San Diego, California, was awarded a grant in October 2007 to aid research on 'Menopause and Postreproductive Lifespan in a Cooperatively Breeding Primate: Hormonal Assessment of Aged Langurs.' A postmenopausal lifespan frees women to care for grandchildren. Other primate species that share with humans strong cooperatively breeding traits might also experience menopause and lengthy postreproductive lifespan. Langurs are known for offspring allocare with postreproductive females identified in the wild. Our goal was to conduct reproductive hormonal research on zoo-housed Francois langur females to assess whether, like humans, they typically experience a lengthy postreproductive lifespan. Progesterone data in conjunction with individual female information on year of last birth would help to determine length of postreproductive lifespan. In fact, geriatric females (n=3) were cycling but none conceived during the study, whereas all control subjects (n=6) conceived, even when progesterone did not exhibit distinguishable cycling patterns. No significant changes in average hormone concentrations were detected in geriatric females over two years, nor between older and younger females. There are hints that age may affect ability to conceive but postreproductive lifespan may be short. Testosterone and estradiol cycling patterns will be investigated to further characterize reproductive ability. Detailed analyses of all hormones may help to gauge differences between age classes, particularly, to establish timing of specific reproductive landmarks including the relationship between the end of hormonal cycling and age at last birth.
Aureli, Dr. Filippo, U. Veracruzana, Xalapa, Mexico - To aid workshop on 'Fission-Fusion Dynamics and Behavioral Flexibility: Comparative Perspectives,' 2015, Valladolid, Yucatan, in collaboration with Dr. Colleen Schaffner
Preliminary abstract: Following the productive discussion at a 2004 Wenner-Gren funded conference, Aureli et al. (2008) proposed theoretical frameworks for socioecological factors underpinning fission-fusion dynamics, for communication and cognitive implications of fission-fusion dynamics and for the evolutionary processes at the basis of fission-fusion dynamics, including those involving our own ancestors. The proposed workshop aims to expand from these achievements by reframing these theoretical frameworks within a revised perspective on behavioral flexibility and by proposing additional theoretical frameworks. The term fission-fusion has been used to refer to overall flexible group membership in contrast to fixed membership of cohesive groups. In the proposed workshop we will examine the fine-tuned behavioral flexibility afforded to group members by different degrees of fission-fusion dynamics. This perspective on behavioral flexibility applies not only to comparisons across species, but also to comparisons across populations of the same species. To achieve this goal and characterize such detailed behavioral flexibility, workshop participants will propose, test and deliver a series of suitable metrics to quantify the degree of fission-fusion dynamics, which will allow testing the predictions of the theoretical frameworks with phylogeny-controlled comparative analyses.
Reuter, Dr. Thomas A., Monash U., Clayton, Victoria, Australia - To aid WCAA conference on 'Opportunities and Challenges: Toward an Agenda for World Anthropology,' 2009, Kunming, China, in collaboration with Dr. Gustavo Ribeiro
'Opportunities and Challenges for International Cooperation and Participation in Anthropology: Toward an Agenda for World Anthropology'
July 27-31, 2009, Kunming, China
Organizers: Thomas A. Reuter (Monash University) and Gustavo Ribeiro (Universidade de Brasilia)
This symposium was an open forum at which cooperative efforts to facilitate international communication and collaboration among anthropologists and anthropological associations were discussed. Representatives of all WCAA member associations present at the 2009 IUAES World Congress (July 27-31, Kunming, China) were invited to contribute to the
meeting, together with key representatives of the IUAES. The discussion focused on the different roles of the WCAA, IUAES, regional and national associations, asking what each can accomplish and how they can support one another’s endeavors. Individual presentations focused on specific tasks within the overall goal of advancing cooperation and participation within the discipline globally. The discussion explored how such important tasks may be accomplished through existing institutional resources and collaborations. Each representative at the meeting was asked to report back to their governing board and membership on the forum’s ideas and proposals for collaboration. A joint publication of the
presentations is in progress.