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Stumpf, Rebecca Margaret

Grant Type
Post-Ph.D. Research Grant
Insitutional Affiliation
Illinois, Urbana, U. of
Completed Grant
Approve Date
Project Title
Stumpf, Dr. Rebecca Margaret, U. of Illinois, Urbana, IL - To aid research on 'Female Social and Sexual Development in Wild Chimpanzees'

DR. REBECCA M. STUMPF, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, received a grant on October 2008 to aid research on 'Female Social and Sexual Development in Wild Chimpanzees.' This study focuses on the transition from juvenility to adulthood in wild chimpanzees. The pre-reproductive period is marked by high selective forces, as individual survival and fitness are influenced by the timing of sexual maturity and the development of appropriate sexual and social roles and strategies. Despite its importance, this critical period has been the focus of relatively little research. This study tests hypotheses concerning chimpanzee behavioral and hormonal development that may explain: 1) the pattern of and catalyst for female emigration (a demographic and behavioral pattern shared by humans and chimpanzees but few other primates); 2) variation in timing and nature of maturation between males and females; and 3) inter-individual variation in the age of developmental milestones. Hypotheses tested examine and evaluate social and sexual behavioral change during development, the hormonal correlates of sexual maturation, proximate causes of female emigration, and the factors influencing inter-individual variation in the timing of sexual maturity.