I am a primatologist with a broad background in anthropology, animal behavior and socio-endocrinology. After investigating male bimaturism in Orangutans, I studied sexual selection in crested macaques with a specific focus on how male dispersal and dispersal strategies impact the social structure of this species. I acquired a solid background in socio-endocrinology; investigating the effect of certain behaviors or circumstances on an individual’s stress levels and ultimately their fitness. I joined the McCowan lab at UC Davis in early 2016 to study human-macaque conflicts and their impact on the social networks of a group. I am currently studying several groups of urban long-tailed macaques in Kuala Lumpur as part of the McCowan’s
coupled nature human systems project.
I am specifically interested in the evolution of social systems and the proximate drivers of such processes. I am fascinated by the tug of war between male and female's interests (mates vs. resources) and how this affects the social structure, male-male competition, morphology and ultimately the fitness of individuals in different species. In addition, I also have an interested in which ways the presence of humans affects these factors. Since human populations are growing and many, if not most, primate populations are increasingly forced to share their habitat with humans, behavioral and demographic adaptations to better cope with the urban environment are expected. These changes are likely to impact the social structure of groups (e.g. larger groups may lead to less certain dominance structures and/or a lower monopolization potential for males). Whether or not the presence of humans has an effect on the social system of primates is unknown so far.