Research at EBQB focuses on the ecology and behavior of sympatric New World monkeys, specifically of tamarins living in interspecific associations (Saguinus mystax and Saguinus nigrifrons). These associations provide a model system in which comparative studies of closely related species on the interaction between ecology and social systems and on ecological relationship with other organisms can be conducted without the influence of confounding factors (e.g. different habitats).
Major research topics
- Social organization and mating systems
- Social behavior and communication, particularly olfactory communication
- Feeding ecology and habitat use
- Animal-plant interactions: seed dispersal and seed predation
- Mechanisms of niche differentiation of sympatric species
- Predator-prey relationships
- Interspecific associations (primate-primate, primate-birds)
Methodological basis of all projects is the observation of habituated animals. Individual recognition is based on natural markers (e.g. size and pigmentation of the genitalia; holes and scars of the ear lobe due to former lesions); we desist from trapping and marking for principal reasons. For genetic, hormonal, and parasitological analyses and for studies on seed dispersal and seed predation we use non-invasively sampled feces.
Ethical and legal basis of our studies at EBQB are the pertinent national regulations of Peru on one hand, and the ethical guidelines of the International Primatological Society (IPS) and the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB) on the other hand. Results of our research are made accessible to local, regional and national decision makers as far as possible.