Abstract # 2557 Event # 113:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 20, 2009 02:45 PM-05:30 PM: Session 11 (Mission Bay Ballroom AB) Symposium


FIELD EXPERIMENTS: THE CHALLENGES AND BENEFITS OF USING EXPERIMENTAL METHODS IN FIELD RESEARCH.

L. E. Miller
MiraCosta College, Dept. of Anthropology, Oceanside, CA 92056, USA
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Field studies of primate social behavior and behavioral ecology are often challenging because of the complexity of variables simultaneously affecting our subjects’ behavior. Increasingly popular are experimental techniques designed to stimulate a set of specific responses and thereby tease apart the impact of isolated variables. This symposium will focus on such field experiments, and creative ways that they are being used to understand primate behavior. Talks will address the following: playback experiments to explore intertroop encounters in grey-cheeked mangabeys in Uganda, the functions of food-associated calls in capuchins in Costa Rica, and predator responses in eight sympatric species of primates in Suriname; predator models to study predator-sensitive foraging in capuchins in Venezuela, and age-related predator responses in capuchins in Costa Rica; a combination of playbacks and models to assess adult responses to infant mantled howling monkeys in Costa Rica; feeding platforms to test predictions about food distribution and female sociality in bonnet macaques in India; and a combination of experimental techniques to study predator responses in brown mouse lemurs in Madagascar. Complementing the diversity of topics and methods, each talk addresses the challenges of field experiments, along with the potential benefits that such approaches offer to field research.