Schlafly Bottleworks, Maplewood, MO
Into the Wild: Behavioral and Biological Studies of the Baboons of Eastern and Southern Africa
Jane E. Phillips-Conroy, Ph.D.
Professor of Physical Anthropology
Moderated by: Cynthia Wichelman, M.D.
Most of us have some familiarity with baboons, thanks to seeing them on television wildlife programs or in visits to the zoo. Baboons from eastern and southern Africa clearly look alike, but closer study shows them to be remarkably diverse and ongoing studies illuminate their variety in biology and social organization. Today we count 7 species of baboons, with a distribution from the Horn of Africa to the Cape of Good Hope, living in habitats ranging from near-desert to relatively lush woodlands. For more than 20 years Dr. Phillips-Conroy has studied an area along the Awash River in Ethiopia, where some of the most distinctive baboons—the hamadryas and olive baboons—interbreed. Her recent work takes her to Zambia where, as in Ethiopia, she is studying its three different baboon species and their zones of contact through behavioral observation, capture, and biological sampling. Her research illustrates the interplay between behavior and biology, and affirms the saying ex Africa semper aliquid novi (“There is always something new from Africa”).
Science On Tap is a place where, for the price of a beverage, anyone can come to explore the latest ideas in science and technology. Meetings take place outside a traditional academic context, in the Crown Room at Schlafly Bottleworks.
Meetings are held on the last Wednesday of the month during the academic year, usually from 7:00 - 8:30 PM. The standard format is as follows: 20 minutes of presentation, followed by a 7 minute break for attendees to introduce themselves to each other at the table, and then an hour of discussion. Seating is limited to the first 100 people. No reservations accepted.
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