I am a biologist who studies animal behavioral ecology.
My research mainly focuses on understanding the biological processes that shape social systems in mammals. I approach questions about mammalian sociality from three interconnected levels.
At the individual level, I study male and female social and reproductive strategies, including their hormonal and genetic underpinnings.
At the group level, my interest revolves around how group members coordinate their activities and make decisions, with a special interest in leadership and navigation strategies.
At the intergroup level, I focus on how intergroup spacing mechanisms, the function of loud calls, and collective group defense influence intergroup dynamics.
For this, I conduct long-term behavioral and ecological field research, complemented with endocrine and genetic analyses, as well as spatial simulation modeling, to obtain a well-rounded assessment of how these three levels integrate and impact individual fitness.
My research primarily focuses on black howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra), and I have established a long-term field site at Palenque National Park in southeastern Mexico.
I also collaborate with colleagues in a comparative study of titi monkeys (Plecturocebus discolor) and sakis (Pithecia aequatorialis) to study the evolution and nature of monogamy.
I completed my M.Sc. and Ph.D. in the Department of Zoology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2003-2009). I was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (2010-2011) and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (2012-2014). I am currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Texas in Austin.