Dr. Christopher Shaffer
Research and Training: My primary research interests focus on primate behavior and ecology, especially how primates, including humans, obtain food and move through their environment. However, my research interests are broad within the field of Biological Anthropology, and include human variation (both biological and cultural), conservation ecology, the history of racism, human cultural ecology, and variation in material hunting technology. I conducted my dissertation research on the relationship between the grouping patterns of northern bearded saki monkeys and the distribution of their food resources in the small South American country of Guyana. I have also conducted field work in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Peru, and the Arctic. I am especially interested in the interactions between humans and non-human primates, whether those interactions involve hunting, utilization of the same resources, spiritual importance of non-human primates, or responses of non-human primates to human disturbances (i.e. destruction of habitat through logging). I am also interested in how Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can be applied to answering some of the fundamental questions in Biological Anthropology.