The Women in Science speaker was developed to highlight the contributions that women scientists have made to research and scientific knowledge.
Tuesday 23 February 2010
Seminar begins at 4pm in S012
(cookies at 3:30)
Dr. Melissa Emery Thompson
Department of Anthropology
University of New Mexico
Dr. Thompson’s research focuses on reproductive strategies and the interaction of ecology, physiology and behavior, particularly in female apes. To accomplish this, she employs non-invasive methods to obtain urine, fecal, or saliva samples for quantification of hormone production. Her dissertation research explored how variation in resource access -- seasonal, inter-individual, and inter-population -- impacts the reproductive function of chimpanzees. This line of research clearly pointed to significant and pervasive effects of energy availability on ovarian hormone production and reproductive success in chimpanzees, closely paralleling the effects documented in human females. Dr. Thompson and her colleagues have extended this basic principle to explore the impact of fecundity on the dynamics of the mating system, as well as the wide-ranging influence that access to high quality foraging areas has on intra-group competition. She is also interested in the form and function of sexually coercive behavior in different species (including chimpanzees, orangutans, and humans), the impact of aging on reproductive and social status, the interaction of ecological and social stress, population and individual diversity in aggressive behavior, causes and correlates of reproductive development (including arrested development in orangutans), and flexibility of life history patterns within and between ape species.
For more information visit Dr. Thompson's Laboratory at http://www.unm.edu/~memery/