Abstract # 13425 Event # 173:

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


M. A. Norconk
Department of Anthropology, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242, USA
     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.