Biological & Chemical Sciences News

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Research Activities: Eleni Nikitopoulos, DVM, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Jul 11, 2017

I study the evolution of social and sexual behavior in primates. I am interested in the primates themselves, as well as what they can tell us about human evolution. My research focuses on the function of behavioral and physiological adaptations. In other words, why have certain traits in behavior and physiology evolved? What is the selective advantage that they confer? I study cooperation, in particular, grooming and territorial defense, examining costs and benefits at the individual level. I also study reproductive strategies, focusing on females. My current project concerns chemical communication in primate sexual behavior.

My research integrates observations in natural and naturalistic conditions with laboratory analyses in molecular genetics, chemistry and reproductive endocrinology.

Selected Publications

  • Cords M., Nikitopoulos E. 2015. Maternal kin bias in spatial association and grooming among wild adult female blue monkeys. American Journal of Primatology 77(1): 109-123 doi:10.1002/ajp.22315.
  • Roberts S.J., Nikitopoulos E., Cords M. 2014. Factors affecting low resident male siring success in one-male groups of blue monkeys. Behavioral Ecology 25(4): 852-861.
  • Nikitopoulos E., Heistermann M., de Vries H., Sterck E.H.M., van Hooff J.A.R.A.M. 2005. A pair choice test to identify female mating pattern in relation to ovulation in long-tailed macaques, Macaca fascicularis. Animal Behaviour 70: 1283-1296.2004.
  • Nikitopoulos E., Arnhem E., Sterck E.H.M., van Hooff J.A.R.A.M. 2004. The influence of female copulation calls on male sexual behavior in captive Macaca fascicularis. International Journal ofPrimatology 25: 659-677