|Title||Professor, Dept. of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology, and Professor of Anthropology|
|Affiliation/Department||Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology, Columbia University|
|Professional degree||Ph.D., Zoology, University of California, Berkeley, 1984|
|Research Keywords||Social behavior, behavioral ecology, ethology, ecology, socioecology, primatology|
Marina Cords studies the social behavior and behavioral ecology of primates. She is interested in both proximate and ultimate explanations of social systems and social cooperation, particularly in animals (like primates) that form long-lasting individualized social relationships. Her work on proximate mechanisms has addressed behavior that maintains cohesiveness within social groups, paying special attention to grooming, dominance, reconciliation after aggression, and conventions of ownership that settle potential conflicts of interest before they escalate. Her work on ultimate explanations of behavior concerns reproductive and social strategies (both within and between groups) among forest guenons, especially blue monkeys (Cercopithecus mitis). Dr. Cords is also interested in social and ecological relations between species. She has carried out behavioral experiments with captive monkeys as well as field research on a population of wild guenons in an East African forest since 1979.
Recent Publications and Book Chapters
Cords, M. & Mann. J. 2010. Social conflict management in primates: is there a case for dolphins? In: Karczmarski, L. and Yamagiwa, J., eds. Social Ecology of Dolphins, Monkeys and Apes: A Comparative Overview. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Cords, M. & Würsig, B. 2010. A mix of species: heterospecific associations among primates and dolphins. In: Karczmarski, L. and Yamagiwa, J., eds. Social Ecology of Dolphins, Monkeys and Apes: A Comparative Overview. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Cords, M. & Sarmiento, E. (in press.) Cercopithecus ascanius Species Profile. In: Butynski, T.M. Happold, D. & Kingdon, J., eds. The Mammals of Africa. University of California Press.
Lawes, M.J., Cords, M. and Lehn, C. (in press.) Cercopithecus mitis Species Profile. In: Butynski, T.M. Happold, D. & Kingdon, J., eds. The Mammals of Africa. University of California Press.
Cords, M. & Fuller, J. 2010. Infanticide in blue monkeys (Cercopithecus mitis stuhlmanni) in the Kakamega Forest, Kenya: variation in the occurrence of an adaptive behavior. International Journal of Primatology.
Cords, M., Sheehan, M.J. & Ekernas, L.S. 2009. Sex and age differences in juvenile social priorities in female-philopatric non-despotic blue monkeys. American Journal of Primatology 71: 1-13.
Smith, L.W., Link, A. & Cords, M. 2008. Cheek pouch use, predation risk and feeding competition in blue monkeys (Cercopithecus mitis stuhlmanni). American Journal of Physical Anthropology 137: 334-341.
Mammides, C., Cords, M. & Peters, M. 2008. Effects of habitat disturbance and food supply on population densities of three primate species in the Kakamega Forest, Kenya. African Journal of Ecology.
Cords, M. 2008. Confrontations of the female kind. Natural History 117: 22-27.
Cords, M. 2007. Variable participation in the defense of communal feeding territories by blue monkeys in the Kakamega Forest, Kenya. Behaviour 144: 1537-1550.
Ekernas, L.S. & Cords, M. 2007. Social and environmental factors influencing natal dispersal in blue monkeys (Cercopithecus mitis stuhlmanni). Animal Behaviour 73: 1009-1020.
I have recently started a new project on social cooperation. In particular, I am examining how cooperation by groupmates in a collective action context (group territorial defense) articulates with social cooperation and social tolerance on a dyadic level (grooming and feeding tolerance). This work is taking place on four groups of habituated blue monkeys at my long-term research site in the Kakamega Forest, Kenya, and includes a team of US and Kenyan observers, as well as laboratory collaboration with my post doc, Eleni Nikitopoulos, and NYCEP colleague Prof. Todd Disotell at NYU. We continue, as well, to collect data on life history and rare social events in the study population, which is one of the few in the world with such longterm records on individual primates.
EEEB 1011 and 3011, "The Behavioral Biology of the Living Primates"