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Lisa Moore Interim, Director 2505 University Avenue, A4900, Burdine Hall 536, Austin Texas 78712 • 512-471-5765

Rebecca J. Lewis

Associate Faculty Ph.D., University Biological Anthropology and Anatomy (2004), Duke University

Assistant Professor
Rebecca J. Lewis

Contact

Biography

Interests relevant to CWGS: male-female relationships, evolution of social behavior, evolution of cooperation, power dynamics, relationship between distribution of resources and social relationships (socioecology), sexual selection, primate behavioral ecology.

Research

* Primate Behavior

* Primate Ecology

* Evolution of Cooperation

* Biological Markets

* Sexual Selection

* Intersexual Conflict

* Wild Lemurs

Research Subject Headings: BehaviorCommunicationConservationEcologyEvolutionGender,LeadershipPeace and conflictPoliticsResearch abroadSexuality

International Research

Regions of Academic Interest: Africa

Countries of Academic Interest: Madagascar

Additional Information: I have a field site in western Madagascar in the Kirindy Mitea National Park

Research Projects

2 projects.

Research projects led by Rebecca J Lewis
Project NameStart DateDurationApplicant Classification
Collective Action in Chimpanzees January 2006 8 semesters  
Power Dynamics in Verreaux's Sifaka January 2010 1 semesters

WGS 323 • Primate Social Behavior

47732 • Fall 2013
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am SAC 5.172
(also listed as ANT 346L )
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WGS 323 • Primate Social Behavior

46925 • Fall 2011
Meets MWF 300pm-400pm SAC 5.102
(also listed as ANT 346L )
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This course focuses on the study of primate social behavior. It explores the basic theoretical principles that guide primatologists. Topics covered include: evolutionary theory, primate diversity, social and mating systems, sexual selection, life history, cooperation, competition, intelligence, communication, and human behavior.

 

WGS 323 • Primate Social Behavior

47625 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm JGB 2.218
(also listed as ANT 346L )
show description

WGS 323 PRIMATE SOCIAL BEHAVIORLEWIS, REBECCA JThis course focuses on the study of primate social behavior. It explores the basic theoretical principles that guide primatologists. Topics covered include: evolutionary theory, primate diversity, social and mating systems, sexual selection, life history, cooperation, competition, intelligence, communication, and human behavior.

WGS 323 • Primate Social Behavior

47060 • Fall 2010
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm JGB 2.218
(also listed as ANT 346L )
show description

WGS 323 PRIMATE SOCIAL BEHAVIOR
LEWIS, REBECCA J

This course focuses on the study of primate social behavior. It explores the basic theoretical principles that guide primatologists.

Topics covered include: evolutionary theory, primate diversity, social and mating systems, sexual selection, life history, cooperation, competition, intelligence, communication, and human behavior.


Publications

PUBLICATIONS

CLICK ON LINK TO DOWNLOAD PDF

 

REFEREED JOURNAL ARTICLES

Lewis RJ, Bannar-Martin KH (2012) The Impact of Cyclone Fanele on a Tropical Dry Forest in Madagascar. Biotropica 44(2):135-140.

Lewis RJ, Rakotondranaivo F (2011) The Impact of Cyclone Fanele on Lemur Health in the Tropical Dry Forest of Western Madagascar. Journal of Tropical Ecology 27:429–432.

Carnes LM, Nunn CL, Lewis RJ (2011) Effects of the Distribution of Female Primates on the Number of Males. PLoS ONE 6(5): e19853. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0019853 

Veilleux CC, Lewis RJ (2011) Effects of Habitat Light Intensity on Mammalian Eye Shape. Anatomical Record 294:905-914.

Lewis RJ (2010) Grooming Patterns in Verreaux’s Sifaka. American Journal of Primatology 72(3):254-261.

Lewis RJ (2009) Chest Staining Variation as a Signal of Testosterone Levels in Male Verreaux's Sifaka. Physiology & Behavior 96:586-592.

Lewis RJ (2008) Social Influences on Group Membership in Verreaux's Sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi verreauxi). International Journal of Primatology 29(5):1249-1270.

Lewis RJ, van Schaik CP (2007) Bimorphism in Male Verreaux’s Sifaka in the Kirindy Forest of Madagascar. International Journal of Primatology 28(1):159-182.

Lewis RJ (2006) The Function of Scent-marking in Sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi verreauxi). American Journal of Primatology 68(6):622-636.

Lewis RJ, Kappeler PM (2005) Seasonality, Body Condition, and the Timing of Reproduction in Propithecus verreauxi verreauxi. American Journal of Primatology 67(3):347-364.

Lewis RJ, Kappeler PM (2005) Are Verreaux’s Sifaka Captial Breeders? It Depends. American Journal of Primatology 67(3):365-369.

Lewis RJ (2005) Sex Differences in Scent-marking in Sifaka: Mating Conflict or Mate Guarding. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 128(2):389-398.

Lewis RJ, Razafindrasamba SM, Tolojanahary JP (2003) Observed Infanticide in a Seasonal Breeding Prosimian (Propithecus verreauxi verreauxi) in Kirindy Forest, Madagascar. Folia Primatologica 74(2):101-103.

Lewis RJ (2002) Beyond Dominance: The Importance of Leverage. Quarterly Review of Biology 77(2): 149-164.

 

REFEREED BOOK CHAPTERS

Nunn CL, Lewis RJ (2001) Cooperation and collective benefits: applying economic models of collective action to animal behavior.  In R Noë, JARAM van Hooff, and P Hammerstein (eds.): Economics in Nature, pp.42-66. Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press.

 

OTHER BOOK CHAPTERS

Lewis RJ, Lawler RR (2011) Verreaux’s sifaka. In N Rowe (ed.): All the World’s Primates, Pogonias Press, East Hampton.

 

BOOK REVIEWS

Lewis RJ (2006) “Macaque Societies: A Model for the Study of Social Organization," by B Thierry et al. New York, Cambridge University Press, 2004, 418 pp. [Book review] American Journal of Physical Anthropology 131(1):149-150.

Research Experience

RESEARCH EXPERIENCE / FIELDWORK

 

2010 – Present

    Disease Ecology of Verreaux’s Sifaka. Kirindy Mitea National Park, Madagascar. Co-PI. In collaboration with Drs. Lauren Meyers, Damien Caillaud, Randy Junge, Fidisoa Rasambainarivo.

2009 – Present

    The Impact of Cyclone Fanele on the Kirindy Mitea National Park, Madagascar. PI.

2006 – Present

   Behavior and Ecology of Sifaka.  Kirindy Mitea National Park, Madagascar. PI.

2004 - 2010

   Cooperation in Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Bastrop, Texas. PI.

2000 - 2002

   Sources of Variation in Male-Female Relationships in Verreaux’s Sifaka (Propithecus verreuxi verreauxi): Intersexual Conflict and Power.  Kirindy Forest, Madagascar.  PI, dissertation research under Dr. Carel van Schaik.

1998

   Socially-Mediated Factors Affecting Seasonal Testicular Function in Propithecus verreauxi:  Hormonal Mechanisms and Evolutionary Questions.  Beza-Mahafaly Special Reserve, Madagascar.  Assisted Drs. Diane Brockman and Patricia Whitten.

1997

   Ecological Influences on the Social Organization and Reproductive Strategies in the Common Marmoset (Callithrix jacchus).  Parque Nacional de Sete Cidades, Brazil.  Assisted Dr. Leslie Digby.

1995 - 1996

   A Comparison of Social Interactions in Pigtailed Monkeys and Rhesus Monkeys.  Tulane Regional Primate Research Center.  Covington, Louisiana.  PI in collaboration with Dr. Margaret Clarke and doctoral student Marie Hunyen.

1994 - 1995

   Socio-ecology of Two Sympatric Indriids:  Propithecus diadema diadema and Indri indri, a Comparison of Feeding Strategies and Their Possible Repercussions on Species Specific Behaviors.  Mantadia National Park, Madagascar. Assisted doctoral student Joyce Powzyk. 

1993 - 1994

Sex Differences in Control of Power in Eulemur fulvus rufus. Duke University Primate Center.  PI in collaboration with Drs. Frances White and Deborah Overdorff.

1992

   Morphometrics of Lemur catta and Eulemur fulvus rufus.  Duke University Primate Center.  Assisted Dr. Michael Pereira.

 

Madagascar Fieldwork

MADAGASCAR FIELD RESEARCH

 

My field work currently focuses on Verreaux's sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi verreauxi) in the Kirindy Mitea National Park. This park provides a unique opportunity to study sifaka socioecology because the park is the transition zone for three different ecosystems: the dry, deciduous forest of the west, the spiny desert of the south, and the coastal mangroves. I have created a 1 km2 grid system of trails in the forest. Trails are 25 meters apart and marked for easy navigation. This grid system also allows us to measure home range size and use without the use of a GPS. Eight social groups are habituated and marked with nylon collars and tags. One individual per group has a radio collar.

 

 

Demography, Morphology, & Genetics 

 Censuses of the social groups are conducted regularly to allow for studies of demography. Captures are conducted twice a year in order to monitor body condition. I am also collaborating with Dr. Deborah Bolnick to conduct genetic analyses of the population.

 

 

Alternative Mating Strategies

 Adult male sifaka are bimorphic: some males have a dark brown, greasy staining on their chests, while others have chests that are clean and white. This variation is related to dominance status. The goal of my study is to document the striking variation in sifaka male chest status and to evaluate the hypotheses that chest status represents alternative mating tactics. To this end, I am studying (1) male social and mating behavior, (2) variability in chest staining, (3) the morphological and hormonal correlates of chest status, (4) female mate choice, (5) how the chest staining acts as a visual and olfactory signal, (6) whether chest status is related to male dispersal strategies, and (7) male reproductive success.

 

 

Feeding Ecology

Verreaux's sifaka are medium-sized folivores that live in habitats ranging from dry, deciduous forest to spiny desert. Because Kirindy Mitea National Park is located in the transition zone for three ecosystems, this field site is ideal for examining the effects of ecology on behavior. I am studying how the sifaka in Kirindy Mitea National Park use their habitat, what plants they eat, and the within- and between- group competition that arises as a result of the availability of their food.

 

 

Students

CURRENT STUDENTS

 

Katherine Bannar-Martin

Research Interests: Primate ecology, community ecology, habitat disturbance, primate conservation

web site: http://khbannarmartin.com/index.php

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