Katharine Mary Jack

Katharine Mary Jack
Tulane University | TU · Department of Anthropology

PhD

About

87
Publications
9,840
Reads
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2,366
Citations
Citations since 2016
29 Research Items
1099 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022050100150200
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200
Introduction
I am a primate behavioral ecologist and my research examines the influence of dispersal patterns on male sociality and cooperation, male reproductive strategies, and hormonal correlates of male dominance rank and life history status. I am co-director (with Linda Fedigan and Amanda Melin) of the Santa Rosa Primate Field Project and have been studying this primate population near continuously since 1997.
Additional affiliations
July 2003 - present
Tulane University
Position
  • Associate Professor, Director of Environmental Studies Program
July 2003 - November 2016
Tulane University
Position
  • Managing Director

Publications

Publications (87)
Article
Hormone laboratories located “on-site” where field studies are being conducted have a number of advantages. On-site laboratories allow hormone analyses to proceed in near-real-time, minimize logistics of sample permits/shipping, contribute to in-country capacity-building, and (our focus here) facilitate cross-site collaboration through shared metho...
Article
Full-text available
Although males often disperse to increase their immediate access to mates, it is unclear whether they also consider potential future reproductive opportunities. We investigated whether immediate or delayed reproductive opportunities predicted dispersal decisions and reproductive success of subordinate immigrant male white-faced capuchins in the Sec...
Article
Reproductive seasonality is typically associated with ecological factors, but it can also be related to social factors, such as alpha male replacements (AMR). Such events can produce distinct birth peaks outside of the ecological peak, potentially increasing hardship for mother and infant and ultimately reducing fitness. We examined the impact of A...
Article
Collective decision-making is a widespread phenomenon across organisms. Studying how animal societies make group decisions to the mutual benefit of group members, while avoiding exploitation by cheaters, can provide unique insights into the underlying cognitive mechanisms. As a step toward dissecting the proximate mechanisms that underpin collectiv...
Article
On 5 February 2021, we observed the first instance of female-committed infanticide followed by cannibalism in a long-studied (> 35 years) population of wild white-faced capuchins (Cebus imitator) in the Santa Rosa Sector of the Área de Conservación Guanacaste, Costa Rica. The events leading up to and including the infanticide and cannibalism were o...
Article
Full-text available
The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is an important gene complex contributing to adaptive immunity. Studies of platyrrhine MHC have focused on identifying experimental models of immune system function in the equivalent Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA). These genes have thus been explored primarily in captive platyrrhine individuals from researc...
Article
Full-text available
Animal communication has long been thought to be subject to pressures and constraints associated with social relationships. However, our understanding of how the nature and quality of social relationships relates to the use and evolution of communication is limited by a lack of directly comparable methods across multiple levels of analysis. Here, w...
Article
Objectives: Infanticide in white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus imitator) typically occurs in association with alpha male replacements (AMRs). Although infanticide is likely adaptive for males, it imposes costs on females that are difficult to quantify without long-term demographic data. Here we investigate effects of AMRs and infanticide on fem...
Article
Research on non-human primates in the endangered tropical dry forest of Sector Santa Rosa (SSR), Área de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG), was launched in 1983 and is now one of the longest running studies of primates globally. Such continuous study provides a rare opportunity to ask questions that are only answerable through decades-long monitoring o...
Article
Full-text available
Cannibalism has been observed in a variety of animal taxa; however, it is relatively uncommon in primates. Thus, we rely heavily on case reports of this behavior to advance our understanding of the contexts under which it occurs. Here, we report the first observation of cannibalism in a group of wild white‐faced capuchin monkeys (Cebus imitator). T...
Article
Full-text available
The threat of predation by snakes is considered to have played a significant role in the evolution of primate sensory systems and behavior. However, we know relatively little about individual and group responses given the rarity of observed predation events. Here we report an observed (filmed) predation attempt by an adult Boa constrictor (~ 2 m) o...
Article
Full-text available
Extreme climate events can have important consequences for the dynamics of natural populations, and severe droughts are predicted to become more common and intense due to climate change. We analysed infant mortality in relation to drought in two primate species (white-faced capuchins, Cebus capucinus imitator, and Geoffroy's spider monkeys, Ateles...
Article
Full-text available
Primates have long been used as indicator species for assessing overall ecosystem health. However, area-wide census methods are time consuming, costly, and not always feasible under many field conditions. Therefore, it is important to establish whether monitoring a subset of a population accurately reflects demographic changes occurring in the popu...
Article
Dispersal of one or both sexes from the natal (birth) group is a feature common to most social mammals. Which sex disperses is largely a function of the food supply and its concomitant effect on within‐ and between‐group foraging competition. In many species exhibiting male‐biased dispersal, males will continue to move between groups throughout the...
Chapter
A keystone individual is defined as an individual that has a disproportionate impact on group dynamics relative to its representation in the population. Here we use over 30 years of behavioural, physiological, paternity, and demographic data collected on the Santa Rosa, Costa Rica, capuchin population to address the question of whether or not alpha...
Chapter
In many mammalian species, philopatric females reside with female kin with whom they form long-lasting cooperative bonds, whereas dispersing males rarely form strong bonds with other males. However, males may have the opportunity to disperse and form long-lasting bonds with paternal male kin in species with high male reproductive skew and parallel...
Book
Professor Linda M. Fedigan, Member of the Order of Canada and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, has made major contributions to our understanding of the behavioural ecology of primates. Furthermore, Linda Fedigan pioneered and continues to advance scholarship on the role of women in science, as well as actively promoting the inclusion of wom...
Article
Infanticide is common in the context of alpha male replacements (AMR), particularly in groups where alpha males experience high reproductive skew and the infants are unlikely to be related to a new alpha male. We examined the relationship between the rate of infant mortality, infant age, and the occurrence and type of AMR in white-faced capuchin mo...
Article
Alpha male replacements occur in all primates displaying a dominance hierarchy but the process can be extremely variable. Here, we review the primate literature to document differences in patterns of alpha male replacements, showing that group composition and dispersal patterns account for a large proportion of this variability. We also examine the...
Chapter
Paternity is defined as “the state of being one's father.” What it means to be a primate father is largely influenced by the degree of paternity certainty of any one male. In species where males have lower paternity certainty, they may rely on various cues (odor, vocal, or facial) in order to discern whether or not an infant is their offspring. The...
Chapter
Dispersal of one or both sexes from the natal (birth) group is a feature common to most social mammals (Greenwood 1980). Which sex disperses is largely a function of the food supply and its concomitant effect on within- and between-group foraging competition. In many species exhibiting male-biased dispersal, males will continue to move between grou...
Chapter
Linda Fedigan (Ph.D. 1974, University of Texas, Austin) is a Canada Research Chair and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Fedigan is best known for her studies of the behavior and reproduction of nonhuman female primates and the influence of gender on the history of primatology.
Chapter
An alpha male is the highest ranked male residing in a gregarious primate group. The ability of any individual male to gain alpha status is determined by a number of interacting factors including: age, size, hormone levels, and social network. The costs associated with being an alpha male include increased vigilance behaviors and more active defens...
Article
Significance In group-living mammals, infants of females with strong social relationships sometimes exhibit higher survivorship than infants of less social females, a finding that holds true in our study population of wild white-faced capuchin monkeys. However, as in many mammals, new alpha male capuchins often kill young infants sired by other mal...
Article
Reproductive skew in multi-male groups may be determined by the need for alpha males to offer reproductive opportunities as staying incentives to subordinate males (concessions), by the relative fighting ability of the alpha male (tug-of-war), or by how easily females can be monopolized (priority-of-access). These models have rarely been investigat...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Circannual variation in reproduction is pervasive in birds and mammals. In primates, breeding seasonality is variable, with seasonal birth peaks occurring even in year-round breeders. Environmental seasonality is reportedly an important contributor to the observed variation in reproductive seasonality. Given that food availability is the...
Article
Evidence for paternal kin recognition and paternally biased behaviors is mixed among primates. We investigate whether infant handling behaviors exhibit paternal kin biases in wild white-faced capuchins monkeys (Cebus capucinus) by comparing interactions between infants and genetic sires, potential sires, siblings (full sibling, maternal, and patern...
Article
While much is known about abiotic and vegetative edge effects in tropical forests, considerably less is known about the impact of forest edges on large mammals. In this study, we examine edge effects in a primate community to determine: 1) the distance from the edge over which edge effects in primate density are detectable, 2) whether individual sp...
Article
Sex-biased dispersal can reduce kin cooperation and kin competition in the dispersed sex. However, this may not be the case when group-living animals engage in parallel dispersal, which occurs when an individual transfers between groups together with other animals or immigrates alone into a group that contains familiar animals. Despite this potenti...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Ecological variation strongly influences female reproductive endocrinology, frequently resulting in seasonal patterns linked to energetic constraints. Such energetic constraints may similarly affect males, but research has emphasized social factors, while largely ignoring ecological influences on male reproduction. We examine the effects of both ec...
Article
Social relationships among immigrant same-sex co-residents have received relatively little atten-tion, particularly for species where males are the dispersing sex. White-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus) are unusual in that immigrant males form cooperative alliances with co-resident males during intergroup encounters, and also have affiliative and...
Article
The factors that drive within-species variation in animal space use remain poorly understood. A growing body of evidence suggests that both home range attributes and biological interpretations of the home range may depend fundamentally on the scale of analysis. We utilize a multiscale mixed effects modelling framework to examine how seasonal fluctu...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Infanticide occurs in a range of primate species, usually in the context of intergroup encounters, group takeovers, or following changes to the male dominance hierarchy. Here we report on two infanticides – one observed and one inferred – during a socially stable period in one group from the Santa Rosa, Costa Rica population of white-faced capuchin...
Article
Much attention has been paid to hormonal variation in relation to male dominance status and reproductive seasonality, but we know relatively little about how hormones vary across life history stages. Here we examine fecal testosterone (fT), dihydrotestosterone (fDHT), and glucocorticoid (fGC) profiles across male life history stages in wild white-f...
Article
Full-text available
Reproductive success is linked to dominance in male primates, reflecting the benefits of male competition. However, not all males compete successfully, suggesting that the costs of obtaining and maintaining high dominance status are significant. Here we examine the fecal metabolites of testosterone (fT) and dihydrotestosterone (fDHT) as bioactive a...
Article
Conservation actions that effectively and efficiently target single, highly threatened species require current data on the species’ geographic distribution and environmental associations. The Ecuadorian capuchin (Cebus albifrons aequatorialis) is a critically endangered primate found only in the fragmented forests of western Ecuador and northern Pe...
Article
Full-text available
Reproductive success is linked to dominance in male primates, reflecting the benefits of male competition. However, not all males compete successfully, suggesting that the costs of obtaining and maintaining high dominance status are significant. Here we examine the fecal metabolites of testosterone (fT) and dihydrotestosterone (fDHT) as bioactive a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In many wild primates, male dominance rank is correlated with reproductive success. However, not all males compete successfully, suggesting that the costs of obtaining and maintaining high dominance are significant. Testosterone (fT) and dihydrotestosterone (fDHT) are androgens that facilitate male aggression and sexual behavior. Glucocorticoids (f...
Article
Androgens play a role in male reproductive competition, frequently via aggression, while glucocorticoids are associated with the stress response. However, the relationships of these hormones with different sources of competition (intra- vs. intergroup) and dominance status are highly variable. Here, we consider the fecal androgen (fA) and glucocort...
Conference Paper
Developments in field methods allow non-invasive assessments of hormone levels in wild animals. Here we highlight social and developmental factors associated with variation in fecal androgen and glucocorticoid (fGC) levels of male white-faced capuchin monkeys in Costa Rica. Alpha males have higher androgen and fGC levels than subordinates, with lev...
Chapter
The Santa Rosa primate project began in 1983 and we have studied the behavioral ecology of the resident primate species (Cebus capucinus, Alouatta palliata and Ateles geoffroyi) continuously since then. Most of our research has concentrated on the behavior, ecology, and life history of multiple groups of capuchins and on documenting the effects of...
Conference Paper
Within group social relationships among immigrant same-sex individuals have received relatively little attention, particularly when males are the dispersing sex. White-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus) are unusual in that males form cooperative alliances during intergroup encounters and are described as having affiliative and egalitarian/tolerant r...
Article
Geographically isolated from other C. albifrons taxa found east of the Andes, the Ecuadorian capuchin (Cebus albifrons aequatorialis) is a Critically Endangered primate that survives in a small number of localities in western Ecuador and extreme northern Peru. We assessed 11 forested areas in western Ecuador to determine presence/absence using a co...
Article
Full-text available
We examined fecal androgen and cortisol levels in three adult male white-faced capuchin monkeys (Cebus capucinus) before and after a non-aggressive rank increase in one habituated group residing in the Santa Rosa Sector of the Área de Conservación Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Fecal samples (n = 116) were collected opportunistically between July 2006 and...
Article
White-faced capuchin males disperse from their natal group at around 4.5 years of age, but there is much variation in dispersal timing: our youngest confirmed disperser was 19 months and the oldest 11 years old. In this study, we investigate possible factors influencing dispersal decisions in this species. Between 1983 and 2010, 64 males were born...
Article
Many factors have been hypothesized to affect the size and adult sex ratios of primate groups and these, in turn, have been argued to influence birth rates. Using park-wide census data collected on a population of capuchins over a 25-year period, we examined whether group size and adult sex ratio affect the per capita reproductive success of male a...
Article
Parallel dispersal occurs when individuals emigrate together with peers or close kin, or im-migrate into groups containing familiar or closely related individuals. To understand the evo-lution of parallel dispersal in male primates, we explore if parallel dispersal co-occurs with male coalitions, or with other traits that may facilitate coalition f...
Article
Most primates are characterized by cohesive male-female bonds that are maintained year round. While recent studies have addressed the selective pressures influencing the evolution of male-female relationships in primates, we know relatively little about the proximate mechanisms affecting them. It has been demonstrated that newborn white-faced capuc...
Article
White-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus) reside in multimale–multifemale groups charac-terized by female philopatry and frequent male dispersal. However, over the years we have observed five females immigrate into our study groups and 23 disappear/emigrate. We exam-ined long-term demographic and behavioural data on three groups of C. capucinus resid...
Article
Dispersal in primates: advancing an individualized approach Preface As a universal aspect of natural history, dispersal is important to multiple disciplines within the natural sciences, including behaviour, ecology, evolutionary biology, genetics and conservation biology. Who disperses when, where and how (behaviour and ecology) can lead us to unde...
Article
Early investigations into variable reproductive success in nonhuman primates tended to focus on the benefits conferred by high dominance rank. However, the effect of high rank on individual reproductive success has been found to vary both intra- and interspecifically, requiring researchers to expand their investigations to include additional factor...
Article
We report on the responses of Cebus capucinus in the Santa Rosa Sector of the Area de Conservación Guanacaste, Costa Rica, to the presence of observers over a 4-week period. Study groups were habituated to different degrees: (1) Cerco de Piedra (CP): continuous observations began in 1984; (2) Exclosure (EX): focus of an 18-month study on males from...
Article
Male primates may immigrate into groups by peacefully joining the residents and taking up low-ranking positions in the hierarchy, or they may enter by force, challenging the resident males and attempting to drive them from high rank or from the group. Here we address the questions of how, when, and why immigrating male white-faced capuchins (C. cap...
Article
This is the first of two papers examining male dispersal patterns in white-faced capuchins. Our study was based on behavioural and demographic data collected on multiple groups of white-faced capuchins in Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica since 1985. Here we examine the patterns and proximate causation of male natal dispersal. Natal dispersal in...
Article
Male dispersal from the birth group is common in the majority of social mammals, and in many species, males also engage in secondary or breeding dispersal following natal emigration. However, the patterns and causes of secondary dispersal are poorly understood due to the difficulty in following emigrants. Here, we detail the patterns and causation...
Article
Full-text available
Capuchins exhibit considerable cross-site variation in domains such as foraging strategy, vocal communication and social interaction. We report interactions between white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus) and other species. We present comparative data for 11 groups from 3 sites in Costa Rica that are ecologically similar and geographically close, t...
Chapter
Full-text available
Socially maintained behavioural traditions in non-human species hold great interest for biologists, anthropologists and psychologists. This book treats traditions in non-human species as biological phenomena that are amenable to the comparative methods of inquiry used in contemporary biology. Chapters in the first section define behavioural traditi...
Article
Full-text available
Ten researchers collaborated in a long-term study of social conventions in wild white-faced capuchin monkeys, involving examination of a 19,000-hour combined data set collected on 13 social groups at four study sites in Costa Rica over a 13-year period. Five behavior patterns qualified as social traditions, according to the study's criteria: handsn...
Article
Full-text available
Relationships among coresident male white-faced capuchins are highly variable, ranging from affiliative to aggressive. In this paper I examine the affiliative relationships of all adult and subadult males residing in four social groups in Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica. Relationships among males in two study groups were neutral and tolerant,...
Article
Full-text available
I examined the vigilance behavior of male Cebus capucinus residing in four groups in Santa Rosa Park, Costa Rica. One male emigrated from each of three study groups, providing ideal experimental conditions for examining the effect of coresident males on male vigilance behavior (social and non-social). Following the predator and conspecific defense...
Article
Full-text available
Few data exist on how primate populations return to regenerating tropical forests. We compare the ways that two populations of neotropical monkeys, Alouatta palliata and Cebus capucinus, expanded over a 28-year period after the establishment of Santa Rosa National Park on reclaimed ranchlands in Costa Rica. We found that both howler and capuchin po...
Article
Central American squirrel monkeys Saimiri oerstedii are limited to Costa Rica and Panama, and have never been abundant. The Costa Rican population is now decimated. Based on our survey of squirrel monkeys throughout a large portion of the Costa Rican range of this species in 1996, we can confirm that at least 1246 squirrel monkeys remain in 26 spat...
Article
Full-text available
The mating season behavior of peripheral male Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) at Arashiyama West were studied during the 1994/1995 mating season. Although all peripheral males increased their proximity to the main troop, there was great variation in this behavior, from those who became virtually indistinguishable from the main troop males to tho...
Article
Full-text available
Ten researchers collaborated in a long-term study of social conventions in wild white-faced capuchin monkeys, involving examination of a 19,000-hour combined data set collected on 13 social groups at four study sites in Costa Rica over a 13-year period. Five behavior patterns qualified as social traditions, according to the study's criteria: handsn...

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Project
We have created a survey to gauge the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted field studies and the continuity of long-term research on primates. Specifically, we want to know how research plans and daily field operations have changed as a result of the pandemic. The results of this survey will be collated and analyzed to a) report trends in these experiences, b) anticipate long term impacts on research projects, and c) assess future obstacles (e.g. financial support; skilled personnel). From these data we will outline a “best practices approach” to guide the resumption of primate field research and how to better plan for any future disruptions. Please take 10-15 mins to complete the survey - thanks! Survey URL: http://tulane.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_7NyN0okaagJwlWR