Erin Vogel
Erin Vogel
Food acquisition and diet selection in nonhuman primates

Cook Campus
School of Environmental and Biological Sciences
School of Arts and Sciences

Dept of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources (DEENR)
Dept of Anthropology

Dr. Vogel is a biological anthropologist and evolutionary ecologist. Her research is focused on how primates acquire and assimilate food resources, particularly in the face of variable environments. She believes that an integrated understanding of how and why primates feed under varying ecological conditions can be instructive for interpreting the adaptive milestones of human evolution. At its core, Erin’s research focuses on the question: How does ecological variation influence the feeding behavior, physiology, and morphology of nonhuman primates? Studies of primate feeding adaptations have revealed great variation in primate behavioral, physiological, and morphological strategies to meet energetic needs, but how these adaptations vary in response to changing environmental conditions and their potential impacts on individual health and fitness remain unclear. Within this overall theme, her research activities focus on two main categories of adaptations: 1) the factors that influence diet selection (e.g. nutrition, availability, food competition, morphology); and, 2) the effects of food availability and nutritional intake on the energetic state, health, reproduction, and behavior of wild primates. Her recent and current projects are cross-disciplinary, bridging the fields of biological anthropology, evolutionary biology, physiology, immunology, ecology, animal behavior, and functional morphology.