Research Interests and Projects
My work focuses on the measurement of steroid hormone metabolites from non-invasively collected feces of wild and captive primates. In orangutans this method is applied to investigate reproductive strategies in the wild and will also lead to a better understanding of the physiological responses to changes in the environment of this species. The hormone project complements the conservation aspects of genetic studies carried out at the institute and will provide important information to identify priority populations for which conservation efforts need to be intensified and to improve housing conditions of captive orangutans.
Endocrinology is also prominently featured in a wild chacma baboon project. Together with behavioral and genetic date this study aims to improve our understanding of the role of sexual conflict as a selection pressure shaping primate sexuality.