Africa at Noon on March 1, 2017

From North to South: Studying African Primates in Extreme Climates

Dr. Richard McFarland
Department of Anthropology
University of Wisconsin – Madison

Time and Location

12:00pm, 206 Ingra­ham Hall, 1155 Obser­va­tory Drive, Madi­son, WI


Not all primates live in the Tropics. Several species of monkey, including those living in Morocco and South Africa, must cope with a highly variable and extreme climate if they are to ensure their survival. This talk will address the behavioral and physiological strategies employed by primates living in the marginal habitats of Africa.


My research combines behavioral, ecological, hormonal, and body temperature data to investigate individual, population and species differences in physiological competence, particularly in relation to environmental variability and the consequences of sociability. My primary research focuses on vervet monkeys and chacma baboons living in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. These are ideal model organisms for my research because they are obligatorily social, experience a wide temperature range in extreme environments, and manifest a range of specialized social and thermoregulatory adaptations.