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Bre MyersCohort 2022


I’m interested in researching behavioral strategies that may influence infection risk or severity of disease in African great apes, such as avoiding other individuals or groups, avoiding contaminants, and ingestion of plants or other substances that mitigate the risk and/or symptoms of infection. I would like to explore this through the lens of life history and evolutionary theory. For example, mounting and maintaining an immune response may come at a trade-off between growth and reproduction. Thus, selective pressure from pathogens and the energetic burden of an immune system response may have selected for alternative, non-immunological defenses. This knowledge will provide insight into the evolution of infection avoidance in other primates, including humans.    

Advisor: Dr. Lonsdorf