Abstract # 6018 Event # 26:

Scheduled for Saturday, September 13, 2014 05:00 PM-05:20 PM: Session 26 (Decatur A) Oral Presentation


TO THE FIELD OR NOT TO THE FIELD? WHAT IS THE RESEARCH QUESTION?

E. L. Zucker
Loyola University, Department of Psychological Sciences, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA
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     Nonhuman primate research occurs in settings ranging from laboratory to field. From the outset of working with Terry Maple, he emphasized the value of data from all settings; laboratory and field were not opposites, but necessary complements in understanding behavior. Our initial work centered on zoo-living orangutans, but the importance of field data was a constant theme. Maple’s networking facilitated my initial field research opportunity, studying free-ranging patas monkeys in southwestern Puerto Rico, which prepared me well for future field studies. In this presentation, I will focus on how questions raised about social and environmental influences on reproductive outcomes in wild mantled howling monkeys (Alouatta palliata) in Costa Rica led me to analyses of breeding colony records, available in sufficient detail only for captive monkeys (Macaca mulatta at the Caribbean Primate Research Center). This, in turn, led me back to the field to collect urine samples from black howling monkeys (Alouatta pigra) in southeastern Mexico to further address questions about social and environmental influences on reproduction. For my interests (and career), research in a field setting raised questions that could be addressed only by research in a laboratory setting, which in turn, led to questions best addressed in a field setting. The appropriate setting for nonhuman primate research clearly depends on the research questions asked.