September 4, 2018

Mercy Akinyi (Duke University)

Co-infections in wild primate populations

My research aims at quantifying disease prevalence and identifying the sources of disease variance among natural populations of baboons. Research on the ecology, behavior, and genetics of nonhuman primates significantly contributes to understanding the evolution of humans because of the comparative perspective these studies provide on humans traits (Jurmain et al. 2012). Studies of disease variance in nonhuman primates are also important; by increasing our understanding of disease dynamics and how diseases affect hosts, we can gain insight into the ways in which human ancestors were affected by disease during evolution, and eventually understand how humans diverged from nonhuman primate in our response to disease.