Nutritional balancing acts: new insights into the foraging ecology of African apes and monkeys

Jessica Rothman's flyer image
Jessica Rothman
Date and Time: 
Friday, February 8, 2013 - 2:15pm

Department of Anthropology
Main Quad - Building 50
Room 51A (Colloquium Room)


Most primates live in tropical rainforests and are faced with ecological heterogeneity in resources at numerous temporal and spatial scales, including variation in the nutritional content of foods, even within the same tree crown. Underlying foraging decisions is the physiological need to obtain adequate quantities of nutrients, which corresponds to fitness. I will discuss the ways in which foraging decisions enable primates to meet their nutritional goals, focusing on African apes and monkeys in Uganda. I will discuss ongoing nutritional ecology studies that highlight the importance of integrating nutrition into aspects of primate social organization, and how global change is affecting the nutritional composition of primate foods.


Dr. Jessica Rothman is an Assistant Professor in the department of Anthropology at Hunter College. She a primate nutritional ecologist interested in how primates meet their nutritional needs through interactions with their environment. She primarily studies how sociality, movement and disease intersect with nutritional ecology.

Her fieldwork is conducted in the forests of Uganda, where she and her colleagues have been investigating some of the cascading effects of anthropogenic alterations such as climate change, logging, human use and edge effects on the nutritional composition of primate foods.

EcoGroup (Anthro 364): Ecology and Environment Winter Colloquium Series