For my internship this summer and fall I am going to be doing research on two species of monkeys in their natural habitats. First I will be observing titi monkeys in the Ecuadorian Amazon, and then studying owl monkeys outside of Formosa, Argentina. The research will be done as part of the Monogamous Primates Project, which is investigating the environmental and behavioral factors that maintain such a monogamous social system. Titi and owl monkeys are similarly unique in that adult monkeys raise form pair bonds in which fathers invest just as much time in the offspring as the mother. My work will consist of going out into the wild and observing the monkeys’ feeding, mating and parenting behavior in order to investigate several hypotheses explaining what makes such social behavior evolutionary advantageous. In addition, I will be traveling and exploring many other areas of South America for several weeks between my time at the two different research sites and for several months afterward.
— Joseph Carpenter ’11