Katharine M. Jack


Symposium at the XXII Congress of the International Primatological Society

(August 2 - 8th, 2008, Edinburgh, Scotland)

Should I stay or should I go now? Dispersal opportunities, individual decisions, and consequences for wild primates.

Symposium organizers:

Katharine M Jack1 and Lynne Isbell2

1 Department of Anthropology, Tulane University, 1326 Audubon Street, New Orleans, LA 70118.

2Department of Anthropology, University of California, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA  95616


Dispersal is among “…the most important life history traits involved in both species persistence and evolution” (Clobert et al., 2001, p.XX).  It remains, however, one of the most poorly understood issues in ecology and evolutionary biology.  For primates, dispersal also has a profound influence on their daily lives by directly affecting the type and nature of social interactions with conspecifics.  For example, in species displaying male dispersal, males living in groups or as neighbors are presumed to be unrelated and their relationships with other males are generally neutral or agonistic while females are usually related and tend to develop close social bonds with other females.  The opposite tends to occur when males are philopatric and females disperse.  As additional data from more species have trickled in, however, it has become increasingly apparent that dispersal is not always this straightforward and neither are the resulting relationships.  This symposium seeks to highlight the impact of dispersal on the behavior and ecology of primates, illustrate that dispersal is a dynamic and often flexible process, and demonstrate how advancing technology is increasing our understanding of dispersal processes and their implication for primate conservation. Collectively, symposium participants will present original research on primates representing all major taxonomic groups (including humans) and species displaying the full range of social organizations and dispersal patterns.  It is our hope that this symposium will spark increased interest in primate dispersal for its potential in deepening our understanding of primate behavior, ecology, conservation, and evolution.

List of participants:

Ute Radespiel, Marine Juric and Elke Zimmermann

Institute of Zoology, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Germany

Unusual dispersal pattern and sociogenetic structures in the golden-brown mouse lemur (Microcebus ravelobensis

Anthony Di Fiore

New York University, Department of Anthropology

How molecular markers provide insight into dispersal patterns in atelines.


Sergio L. Mendes1 and Karen B. Strier2

1Universidade Federal do Espirito Santos, Depto de Ciencias Biologicas; 2 University of Wisconsin - Madison, Department of Anthropology

Female dispersal in northern muriquis (Brachyteles hypoxanthus).

Katharine Jack1 and Linda Fedigan2

1Tulane University, Department of Anthropology; 2University of Calgary, Department of Anthropology

Female dispersal in a female-philopatric species (Cebus capucinus).

Eduardo Fernandez-Duque
University of Pennsylvania, Department of Anthropology

Dispersal in monogamous New World primates.


Marilyn Norconk

Kent State University, Department of Anthropology

Social organization and dispersal in saki monkeys: preliminary observations.


Eileen Larney1, Carola Borries2, and Andreas Koenig2

1Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences, Stony Brook University 2Department of Anthropology, Stony Brook University

Genetic and social influences on dispersal decisions in Phayre's leaf monkeys.

William Rogers and Janice Chism

Winthrop University, Department of Biology

Male dispersal in patas monkeys.


Michael Krützen, Natasha Arora, Alex Nater, Maja Greminger, and Carel van Schaik

Anthropological Institute and Museum, University of Zürich

Estimates of dispersal of males and females as derived from genetic data from multiple populations of Bornean and Sumatran orangutans.

Rebecca Stumpf, M Emory Thompson, Martin Muller,

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Anthropology

Factors influencing female transfer in wild chimpanzees.

Susan Glover and Mary Towner

University of California - Davis, Department of Anthropology

Risk and Long-Range Dispersal: Searching for Natal Sites of 19th Century Colorado Silver Prospectors.

Valerie Schoof1, Katharine Jack1, and Lynne Isbell2

1Tulane University, Department of Anthropology; 2University of California - Davis, Department of Anthropology

Evolution of parallel dispersal in male primates.