Introduction to Primatology
Introduction to Primatology 2023-24
School of Environmental & Natural Sciences
Module - Semester 1
This module introduces students to the diversity of primates in all its aspects: from species diversity to variation in morphology, social systems, behaviour, ecology and reproductive strategies. It provides essential knowledge for anyone contemplating carrying out an independent study of primates as part of their dissertation research in Year 3. In this module students will also explore the conservation of primates and consider the risks that anthropogenic activities impose on this rich group of mammals.
Some of the themes covered in the module may include: Primate origins, evolution & diversity • Comparative anatomy of modern primates • Primage genetics and species concepts • Ecology of primates and primate communities • Biogeography & primate niches • Primate social systems: evolution & diversity • Cooperation & competition in primate groups • Primate reproductive ecology & physiology • Life history strategies • Sexual selection & reproductive strategies • Cognitive evolution and culture • Primate conservation biology
-threshold -A threshold student should have a basic knowledge of the essential facts and key concepts presented in the module. Written work should demonstrate a basic ability to synthesise and interpret data from lectures and readings in a structured and logical manner, and all assessments should demonstrate the general capacity to organise acquired knowledge. (Grade D or C; mark range 40-59%)
-good -A good student should have thorough factual knowledge across all aspects of the module, and be able to cite examples and case studies where appropriate. Written work should demonstrate an ability to think about the subject and to synthesise lecture material and some information from background reading into coherent arguments. (Grade B; mark range 60-69%)
-excellent -An excellent student should have a high level of detailed factual knowledge across all aspects of the module, and be able to detail examples and case studies where appropriate. Written work should demonstrate an ability to think critically about the subject and to synthesise lecture material and information from extensive background reading in support of detailed, developed arguments. (Grade A; mark range 70-100%)
- Apply theoretical knowledge of methodology to collect data/observations during practical activities and understand of the results obtained and the methodological limitations of different approaches.
- Demonstrate an ability to synthesise knowledge from a variety of sources to critically evaluate arguments based on hypothetical scenarios.
- Demonstrate an understanding of several key areas of primatology – e.g. morphology, ecology, biogeography, evolutionary biology, socioecology, behavioural ecology, conservation.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the distinct features of Primates as an order, their relationship with other mammalian groups, and the reasons for their ecological success, as well as the particular risk factors for their survival.
- Demonstrate an understanding of various theories of primate origins/ecology in the context of wider debates in evolutionary biology, behavioural ecology, biogeography and palaeobiology.
Hypothesis-driven practical report on primate behavioural ecology or comparative anatomy/morphology. Will include data collection, data handling and data analysis.
Exam (Centrally Scheduled)