Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationMinnesota, Minneapolis-St.Paul, U. of
Grant numberGr. 9709
Approve DateOctober 5, 2018
Project TitleMiller, Carrie M., U. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN - To aid research on 'Does Paternity Certainty Elicit Protection and Support of Offspring by Male Gelada Monkeys?,' supervised by Dr. Michael Wilson
CARRIE MILLER, then a graduate student at University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, was awarded funding in October 2018 to aid research on “Does Paternity Certainty Elicit Protection and Support of Offspring by Male Gelada Monkeys?” supervised by Dr. Michael Wilson. Since the advent of DNA fingerprinting in the 1980s, researchers have been repeatedly surprised by the variation in the rate of extra-pair or extra-group paternities (EPP and EGP) among mammals. Primates, including humans, exhibit a variety of mating systems. The diverse social and ecological features of primate populations under long-term study provide opportunities to gain insights into factors affecting the mismatch between apparent and actual paternity. EGPs may vary across social systems, but the extent of such variation has focused largely on socially monogamous species living in small groups. This project provided an opportunity to contribute to this literature by examining evidence of EGPs in gelada monkeys (Theropithecus gelada) — a species living in large, complex, multi-level societies — as well as how EGPs occur in this species. Results indicated that leader-males acquired most paternities within their unit. This suggests that, despite the occurrence of some extra-group paternities, leader-males are generally successful at monopolizing mating access to unit females. Seasonal variation in visibility and parity seem to be the best predictors of EGPs. This represents an essential first step towards understanding the variation in paternal care and male reproductive strategies in gelada monkeys.