John Winans

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Stony Brook U.

Grant number

Gr. 10355

Approve Date

April 13, 2022

Project Title

Winans, John (Stony Brook U.) "Social Responsiveness in Female Savannah Baboons: Individual Heterogeneity and Group-Level Outcomes"

The lineage leading to modern humans experienced pivotal evolutionary transitions in social complexity and daily travel distances. Although interindividual social interactions have major effects on travel paths, few studies of hominin movements have considered this critical relationship. A large body of research has demonstrated that many attributes of collective movements are specifically produced by intragroup variation in social responsiveness, or the extent to which individuals’ movements are informed by their neighbors’ movements. I will investigate the relationship between individual heterogeneity in social responsiveness and collective movement in a population of wild savannah baboons (Papio cynocephalus) living in Amboseli, Kenya. I will collect data with stereo videography and GPS-accelerometer collars to identify the contexts in which individuals are socially responsive and test how heterogeneity in social responsiveness affects collective movement efficiency. By applying interdisciplinary methodological and intellectual approaches, this project will transform our understanding of the drivers and consequences of collective behavior in primates. Furthermore, because of the ecological and behavioral similarities between baboons and hominins, the results of this project will clarify how early hominins collectively navigated savannah mosaic environments and provide context for the extent to which hominin social behavior was shaped by the need for efficient travel.