Lemur Behavioral Ecology

This project is ongoing.

Verreaux's sifaka are lemurs living in western Madagascar. They eat mainly leaves and some fruit, flowers, seeds, and vines. They live in small, cohesive, mixed-sex social groups. This project examines all aspects of sifaka behavioral ecology, including social behavior (affiliation and aggression), feeding behavior, movement through the habitat, mating, intergroup interactions, etc.


I am looking for someone who is responsible, dependable, meticulous, and able to work independently. Students who have taken classes in primate behavior, primate ecology, or animal behavior are preferred but it is not required. Students who want to be involved with data analysis need to have experience with programming in R and/or statistical analysis.

Project Timeline

ongoing -- data are being collected daily in Madagascar by a team of research assistants.


Primarily I am looking for volunteers to help me enter and clean data. Students who want to be involved with analyzing the data are encouraged to participate in data analysis, lab meetings, and to do independent readings. Honor's theses have been developed with the data for students who wish to expand beyond just entering data. However, some previous volunteers have also just wanted to enter data and not get involved beyond that point. So duties can vary depending on the interests of the volunteers.

Typical Time Commitment
1-5 hrs/wk
Desired Length of Commitment
minimum 1 semester


The Office of Undergraduate Research recommends that you attend an info session or advising before contacting faculty members or project contacts about research opportunities. We'll cover the steps to get involved, tips for contacting faculty, funding possibilities, and options for course credit. Once you have attended an Office of Undergraduate Research info session or spoken to an advisor, you can use the "Who to contact" details for this project to get in touch with the project leader and express your interest in getting involved.

Have you tried contacting professors and need more help? Schedule an appointment for additional support.