Caroline PhillipsUniversity of Oxford | OX · School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography
PhD MSc BSc (Hons)
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Citations since 2017
3 Research Items
Research interest: Primate diet, primate palaeoecology, human evolution. Methods used: Phytoliths and stable isotopes. I have studied extant primates for 20 years across Africa. My research focus is to understand bioavailability of food resources within the home range of palaeotropical primates use them as modern analogues to explore dietary adaptation in early hominins.
Skills and Expertise
September 2012 - May 2017
Evolutionary Studies Institute
- PostDoc Position
- With phytoliths and stable isotopes, I evaluated the efficacy of these techniques to reconstruct plant food availability and resource use by chimpanzees inhabiting different ecotypes.
The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Diet aims to provide a survey of both the diversity of human diet in the past as well as providing solid information on the many approaches to the topic. Thus the aim was not just to present what we know, but how we gain that understanding. The first section presents research on the diets of non-human prima...
Non-dietary aspects of ape scats such as scat weight and diameter are correlated with age and sex of defaecator for gorillas and orangutans. Defaecation rates of primates, including apes, illuminate their role as primary seed dispersers. We assess if non-dietary features of scats for East African chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) reveal...
Scat (faeces) decay rate estimates are used to calculate animal species abundance and density. For African great apes, this has been measured only for Gorilla; chimpanzee scats are assumed to decay at a faster rate due to lower fibre content. We provide the first systematic measure of scat decay rate duration for Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii, in...
Objectives: The shorter-term overview from feces provides scope to investigate dietary fluctuations. We assess the correlation of stable isotopic fecal values with recorded seasonal diet of 10 adult chimpanzees (P. t. schweinfurthii) of the Kanyawara community (Kibale National Park, Uganda) and whether fecal nitrogen levels (%N) indicate a change...
Most primate populations remain unobservable; therefore, researchers depend on the analyses of indirect evidence encountered at a study-site in order to understand their behavioral ecology. Diet can be determined through the analyses of scats or feeding remains encountered on-site. This allows aspects of their dietary repertoire to be established,...
Non-human primates using stones in nature provide a rare opportunity to compare directly the behaviour of use with the resulting lithic artifacts. Wild Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) customarily do "stone handling" (SH = spontaneous, solitary, non-instrumental and seemingly playful manipulation of stones). Ten populations of monkeys show at lea...
Macroscopic inspection of feces has been used to investigate primate diet. The limitations of this method to identify food-items to species level have long been recognized, but ascertaining aspects of diet (e.g., folivory) are achievable by quantifying food-items in feces. Quantification methods applied include rating food-items using a scale of ab...
Ascertaining the full range of dietary constituents of a primate population allows the identification of habitats with important food resources and can assist efforts to conserve primates. For unhabituated populations, we can acquire otherwise unobtainable dietary information from macroscopic inspection of fecal samples. This method has made a sign...
Macroscopic analysis of primate faeces as a way to study diet is well established, but lack of standardisation of methods may handicap comparative studies of the resulting data. Here we present a proven technique, including equipment and supplies, protocol and procedure, that yields quantitative data suitable for systematic investigation within and...
To provide a high resolution profile of dietary ecology of chimpanzees using phytoliths and stable isotopes. Work includes entomophagy in apes, phytoliths at nut-cracking sites, reconstructing habitats using stable isotope values and phytoliths across environmental samples.