"Nutritional ecology of forest-living olive baboons & implications for human evolution" with Dr. Caley Johnson


Friday February 24th 2017, 1:15 pm

African Studies Seminar Room (232 Bay State Rd. Room 505)

Caley Johnson, Ph.D. Candidate and Adjunct Lecturer in Anthropology at the City University of New York (CUNY).

As early hominins left forests and began forging life on the savanna, they fed in increasingly open habitats and their diets diversified, especially in the Pleistocene. Pressures from foraging in these new environments are linked with a suite of changes since our last common ancestor with apes. However, it is unclear how changes in nutrition may relate to these significant ecological, physiological, and behavioral innovations. By examining the environmental conditions that shape nutrient management in a wild omnivorous primate, this discussion will contextualize the evolution of nutrient management in humans, and the propensity of modern humans to overconsume energy, thereby increasing rates of cardiometabolic disease. This discussion will also address paleoecological reconstructions of African fossil hominins through presentation of paired nutritional and stable isotope data; and will address extant primate management, as baboons converge on human food resources and come into conflict with communities across Africa, by examining the interactive effects of baboon diet and movement ecology and conservation.