On May 30th, anthropology graduate student Sarah Crawford received notification of a research award from Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research. The Sigma Xi grant program has a highly competitive application process and approximately 17% of applicants receive any level of funding. She was awarded the maximum amount of $1,000 for her research.
Sarah’s research focuses on the diets of the Cercopithecus monkeys at Gombe National Park (GNP), Tanzania. Her work explores differences in the diets of C. ascanius, C. mitis and the hybrid monkeys. Her work is multi-modal. Part of the analysis requires translating Swahili field notes on guenon feeding into English and the input of data into spreadsheets. She will also carry out fieldwork in Gombe National Park, working with research assistant Maneno Isa Mpongo to perform ten minute focal follows on individual monkeys.
This research will increase our scientific understanding of the ecological role that Cercopithecus monkeys play within Gombe and help build a more comprehensive database of the park’s ecology. It will also help us to understand if the hybrids have developed a separate dietary niche than their parental species, which can have future evolutionary implications.