Abstract # 13425 Event # 173:

Scheduled for Saturday, August 24, 2019 08:40 AM-09:40 AM: (Wisconsin Historical Society Auditorium) Keynote Address


FIELDING CHANGE IN PRIMATOLOGY

M. A. Norconk
Department of Anthropology, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242, USA
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     One might mark the origin of field primatology with Clarence Ray Carpenter’s work on howlers in the early 1930’s, a time when Robert Yerkes advocated naturalistic studies of primates. The early focus on non-human primates was largely driven by phylogenetic similarities of apes to humans. While comparative studies of non-human and human primates continue to hold our interest, many current studies emphasize the unique roles of primates in a natural community or an ecological context. There have been parallel changes in the membership of the American Society of Primatologists (ASP) over the past 40 years. In addition to a higher proportion of women and a growing representation of students, an 18% increase in the proportion of anthropologists has probably driven the dramatic shift in the number of members who identify as primate ecologists/conservationists, from 2% in 1982 to 25% in 2015 (Phillips & Norconk, AJP, 2017). I hope that ASP will be able to maintain the current balance field and laboratory research on primates that includes more inter-disciplinary and collaborative research, a stronger emphasis on conserving habitats and protecting primates, and a broadening of the commitment to education including training of students and researchers in host countries.