Field Course: Primate Ecology - ANTB6220

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


This is a residential module that provides first hand opportunity to observe wild primates at close quarters in their natural habitat. Students will spend time studying primates and forest ecology, with an emphasis on practical training in behavioural and ecological methods. The main focus will be on the ecology and behaviour of wild, free-living primates habituated to human observation, although there will be opportunities to observe other taxa. The module will take place in a research station at a rainforest location where there is an adequate infrastructure to ensure an acceptable standard of logistical support and health and safety. Long observation sessions in the forest will be supplemented and supported by formal instruction in the ecology and behaviour of the various primate species, and in the techniques necessary for their study. Students will work in close collaboration with local field staff, and have opportunities to develop insights into and appreciation for the culture of the host country.


Contact hours

This module will be delivered on location during an intensive field study, over approximately 9 days (total duration of trip: 12 days). An emphasis will be on field-based learning supplemented by lectures and group discussion.

Formal contact time will comprise approximately 72 hours, to include lectures, field observation & data collection, additional group activity work and presentations during the field-course, and pre/post trip meetings for preparation and coursework discussion.

Total Contact Hours: 72
Private Study Hours: 78


BSc in Biological Anthropology;
BSc in Anthropology
BSc in Wildlife Conservation
(plus associated year-abroad/placement options)

Method of assessment

A field notebook (80%)
Instructor evaluation (20%)

Reassessment instrument: 100% coursework

Indicative reading

• Martin & Bateson (2007) Measuring Behaviour 3rd Ed. Cambridge.
• Whitehead (2008) Analyzing Animal Societies. Chicago.
• Krebs (1999) Ecological Methodology 2nd Ed. Benjamin/Cummings
• Reynolds (2005) The Chimpanzees of the Budongo Forest, Oxford.
• Goodall (1986) The Chimpanzees of Gombe, Harvard.
Journals: Various, including: Current Biology, Animal Behaviour, Behaviour, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, American Journal of Primatology, International Journal of Primatology, Primates, Folia Primatologica.

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
8.1. Define and collect observational data using data sheets and electronic data loggers
8.2. Demonstrate the ability to identify and follow wild primates
8.3. Collect appropriate data to study foraging ecology of wild mammals
8.4. Work in close collaboration with field assistants and field-station staff


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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