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Research Interests for Christine M. Drea

Research Interests: Mammalian social behavior and reproductive development

I have two broad research interests, sexual differentiation and social behavior, both focused on hyenas and primates. I am particularly interested in unusual species in which the females display a suite of masculinized characteristics, including male- like or exaggerated external genitalia and social dominance. The study of naturally occurring hormones in such unique mammals can reveal general processes of hormonal activity, expressed in genital morphology, reproductive development, and social behavior. Taking a combined laboratory and field approach allows me to relate captive data to various facets of the animals' natural habitat, thereby enhancing the ecological validity of assay procedures and enriching interpretation in an evolutionary framework. The goal of comparative studies of hyenas and lemurs is to help elucidate the mechanisms of mammalian sexual differentiation.

My research program in social behavior focuses on social learning and group cohesion. Using naturalistic tasks that I present to captive animals in socially relevant contexts, I can investigate how social interaction modulates behavior, problem- solving, and cognitive performance. By studying and comparing models of carnivore and primate foraging, I can better understand how group-living animals modify their actions to meet environmental demands. A primary interest is determining whether similar factors, related to having a complex social organization, influence learning and performance across taxonomic groups. I am also interested in how animals learn rules of social conduct and maintain social cohesion, as evidenced by their patterns of behavioral developmental, the intricate balance between aggression and play, the expression of scent marking, and the social facilitation or inhibition of behavior.

5-alpha Reductase Inhibitors, Adaptation, Ocular, Age Factors, Aggression, Aging, Aldehyde Reductase, Ampholyte Mixtures, Analysis of Variance, Androgen Antagonists, Androgens, Androstenedione, Animal Communication, Animals, Animals, Newborn, Appetitive Behavior, Arousal, Attention, Behavior, Animal, Behavioral development, cohesion, communication, and cognition in socially complex mammals., Behavioral ecology, evolutionary biology, and conservation biology of social carnivores and primates., Behavioral Research, Biological Evolution, Bites and Stings, Bodily Secretions, Buffers, Carnivora, Cell Division, CHO Cells, Choice Behavior, Chorionic Gonadotropin, Circadian Rhythm, Clitoris, Cloning, Molecular, Cognition, Color Perception, Comparative Study, Contraceptive Agents, Female, Corticosterone, Cricetinae, Cues, Cyproterone Acetate, Dehydroepiandrosterone, Diet, Dihydrotestosterone, Discriminant Analysis, Discrimination Learning, Dogs, Dominance-Subordination, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Drinking Behavior, Drug Interactions, Ecosystem, Eliminative Behavior, Animal, Environment, Enzyme Inhibitors, Epithelium, Esters, Estradiol, Estrogens, Estrone, Exploratory Behavior, Fatty Acids, Feces, Feedback, Feeding Behavior, Female, Finasteride, Flutamide, Functional Laterality, Galactose, Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry, Genetic Variation, Genitalia, Genitalia, Female, Genitalia, Male, Genotype, Glucocorticoids, Glucose, Gonadal Steroid Hormones, Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone, Habituation, Psychophysiologic, Heterozygote, Hierarchy, Social, Hominidae, Humans, Hyaenidae, Hydrocortisone, Imidazoles, Imidazolidines, Imitative Behavior, Inbreeding, Kinetics, Learning, Lemur, Lemuridae, Lens Capsule, Crystalline, Lens, Crystalline, Lipofuscin, Luteinizing Hormone, Macaca mulatta, Male, Mammals, Mandrillus, Maternal Behavior, Maternal-Fetal Exchange, Mating Preference, Animal, Medroxyprogesterone Acetate, Menstrual Cycle, Microsatellite Repeats, Microscopy, Electron, Models, Biological, Models, Statistical, Molecular Sequence Data, Motivation, Object Attachment, Odors, Olfactory Perception, Orchiectomy, Orientation, Ovariectomy, Oxidation-Reduction, Penis, Pheromones, Photoreceptor Cells, Phylogeny, Pigment Epithelium of Eye, Pigments, Biological, Polymers, Posture, Pregnancy, Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects, Primates, Principal Component Analysis, Problem Solving, Progesterone, Psychology, Comparative, Psychomotor Performance, Radioimmunoassay, Random Allocation, Rats, Rats, Inbred ACI, Rats, Inbred F344, Rats, Inbred Strains, Recognition (Psychology), Reproduction, Reproductive endocrinology, morphology, and sexual behavior of carnivores and primates., Retina, Retinal Degeneration, Scent Glands, Seasons, Sex Characteristics, Sex Differentiation, Sex Factors, Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin, Sexual Behavior, Animal, Sexual Maturation, Smell, Social Behavior, Social Dominance, Social Environment, Species Specificity, Steroids, Strepsirhini, Stress, Physiological, Territoriality, Testosterone, Touch, Urinary Bladder, Urine, Urogenital System, Vacuoles, Virilism, Vitamin A, Vitamin A Deficiency, Vitamin E, Vitamin E Deficiency, Volatile Organic Compounds, Volatilization
Areas of Interest:

Sexual differentiation of form and function in exceptional mammalian models: reproductive endocrinology, behavior, and development.

Behavior of socially complex mammals (adaptation to the social niche): social cognition, interaction, development, and communication.

Problem solving in context (adaptation to the ecological niche): mammalian foraging strategies, feeding ecology, cognitive and sensory mechanisms of foraging.

Representative Publications   (search)
  1. Charpentier, MJE; Boulet, M; Drea, CM, Smelling right: the scent of male lemurs advertises genetic quality and relatedness., Molecular Ecology, vol. 17 no. 14 (July, 2008), pp. 3225-3233 [18565115], [doi[abs]
  2. Drea, CM; Scordato, ES, Olfactory Communication in the Ringtailed Lemur (Lemur catta): Form and Function of Multimodal Signals, in Chemical Signals in Vertebrates, edited by J. Hurst, R.J. Beynon, S.C. Roberts, & T. Wyatt, vol. 11 (2008), pp. 91-102, Springer New York, ISBN 9780387739441 [Gateway.cgi], [doi[abs]
  3. Drea, CM, Sex and seasonal differences in aggression and steroid secretion in Lemur catta: are socially dominant females hormonally 'masculinized'?, Hormones and Behavior, vol. 51 no. 4 (April, 2007), pp. 555-567, ISSN 0018-506X [17382329], [doi[abs]
  4. Drea, CM; Weil, A, External genital morphology of the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta): females are naturally "masculinized"., Journal of Morphology, vol. 269 no. 4 (April, 2008), pp. 451-463, ISSN 0362-2525 [17972270], [doi[abs]
  5. Scordato, ES; Drea, CM, Scents and sensibility: information content of olfactory signals in the ringtailed lemur, Lemur catta, Animal Behaviour, vol. 73 no. 2 (February, 2007), pp. 301-314, Elsevier BV, ISSN 0003-3472 [doi[abs]
  6. Drea, CM; Frank, LG, The social complexity of spotted hyenas, in Animal Social Complexity: Intelligence, Culture, and Individualized Societies, edited by DeWaal, FBM; Tyack, PL, Animal Social Complexity (January, 2003), pp. 121-+, HARVARD UNIV PRESS, ISBN 0-674-00929-0 [Gateway.cgi[abs]
  7. Drea, CM; Place, NJ; Weldele, ML; Coscia, EM; Licht, P; Glickman, SE, Exposure to naturally circulating androgens during foetal life incurs direct reproductive costs in female spotted hyenas, but is prerequisite for male mating., Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, vol. 269 no. 1504 (October, 2002), pp. 1981-1987, ISSN 0962-8452 [12396496], [doi[abs]
  8. Drea, CM; Wallen, K, Low-status monkeys "play dumb" when learning in mixed social groups., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 96 no. 22 (October, 1999), pp. 12965-12969, ISSN 0027-8424 [10536031], [doi[abs]
  9. Drea, CM; Weldele, ML; Forger, NG; Coscia, EM; Frank, LG; Licht, P; Glickman, SE, Androgens and masculinization of genitalia in the spotted hyaena (Crocuta crocuta). 2. Effects of prenatal anti-androgens., Journal of Reproduction and Fertility, vol. 113 no. 1 (May, 1998), pp. 117-127, ISSN 0022-4251 [9713384], [doi[abs]
  10. Drea, CM; Hawk, JE; Glickman, SE, Aggression decreases as play emerges in infant spotted hyaenas: Preparation for joining the clan, Animal Behaviour, vol. 51 no. 6 (January, 1996), pp. 1323-1336, Elsevier BV [doi[abs]

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