University of Calgary

Josie Vayro

  • Sessional Instructor

Research Interests

My research is focused on female counter-strategies to male infanticide in black and white colobus monkeys (Colobus vellerosus). Specifically, I explore whether female mating patterns in black and white colobus monkeys can be interpreted as female counter-strategies to male infanticide or if they are more compatible with the alternative hypothesis of convenience polyandry. I conducted my research at Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary in Ghana, where I collected fecal samples and behavioral data from 18 adult and sub-adult female colobus monkeys. Using socio-sexual and mating behaviors between adult male and adult female colobus monkeys, relative to different stages in the female’s reproductive cycle and the number of males in the group I hope to determine mating patterns in black and white colobus monkeys. I extracted hormones from fecal samples (1865 samples) at the field station and have analyzed these samples for progesterone and estrogen metabolites at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center. I will compare the hormonal profile for each female to her behaviour to look for mating allocation, partner preference, and/or mating outside the fertile period. Human and non-human primates may enhance their reproductive success by mating with multiple males in different social contexts (Hrdy, 2000). Looking at female mating patterns across these contexts allows us to study females as flexible and opportunistic individuals relative to the social context in which they find themselves (Hrdy, 2000).


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