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My research focus is communication on non-human primates. I completed my undergraduate degree at Quest University Canada, during which I conducted research in Costa Rica on howler monkeys, spider monkeys, and capuchins. I then worked as a research assistant with wild bonobos at Wamba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, before beginning by PhD at the University of St Andrews. My PhD topic was gestural communication of wild bonobos – looking at the gestures they use and what those gestures mean. Bonobos deploy a large repertoire of gestures to achieve behavioural responses from recipients. I compared the gestures used by wild bonobos to wild chimpanzees at Budongo (with Catherine Hobaiter’s research), finding a large overlap in the gestural repertoire and meanings.
PhD, Psychology, University of St Andrews, UK, 2017
Joint attention in Sulawesi crested macaques and chimpanzees
I’m currently working on Katie Slocombe’s ERC funded project looking at joint attention in British humans, Ugandan humans, chimpanzees, and Sulawesi crested macaques. I will work for 20 months with the Sulawesi crested macaques in Indonesia and 10 months with chimpanzees in Uganda. We are working towards a large comparative study looking at how and when joint attention emerges in humans and whether it emerges at all in our primate relatives.
Dr Katie Slocombe