Abstract # 193:

Scheduled for Saturday, June 23, 2007 12:25 PM-12:45 PM: Session 18 (North Main Hall C/D) Symposium

ASP, Color and Me

M. S. Gerald1,2
1CPRC, Cayo Santiago, PO BOX 906, Punta Santiago, PR 00741, USA, 2Unit of Comparative Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus
     After just completing my Ph.D., I had the great honor of receiving an Honorable Mention at the 1999 ASP meetings, for my poster, “A Novel Method for Measuring Animal Coloration.” This poster summarized a method I developed with assistants from the University of West Indies-Cave Hill and an Astronomer with the European Space Agency, to provide objective and quantitative measures of color in primates. I have since refined this method considerably and have adapted it for use in free-ranging primates. For nearly the past six years I have served as the Scientist-in-Charge of Cayo Santiago and faculty member at the School of Medicine at the University of Puerto Rico. Building on my dissertation research, I have continued my research in primate coloration by combining field observations of free-ranging primates with experimental studies of two species of captive primates, to address questions of mechanism, functionality and phylogeny of color. By attending and presenting at ASP meetings, I have made numerous contacts with Scientists, who have greatly influenced my career development. Through one connection, I met a Senior Scientist who encouraged me to follow my dream-high-risk dissertation project. Another connection helped me secure a primate facility which fully supported this research. Finally, another contact hired me as his Post-Doctoral Fellow at NIH. Indeed, ASP has been a tremendous vehicle for my career.