Doctoral Student Averee Luhrs
Advisor: Dr. Luca Pozzi
Degrees: B.S. Zoology, Drake University; MSc Primate Conservation, Oxford Brookes University
Dissertation/Thesis Topic: Using surveys, radio telemetry, and behavioural observations in West Africa, I plan to study the foraging strategy (with particular focus on the role of vision), habitat selection, and positional behaviour of pottos and angwantibos. Studying the niche of these primates will provide the vital data that are needed to reconstruct the ancestral primate condition. The ultimate goal of this research is to make informed taxonomic comparisons between Perodicticinae and Lorisinae while uncovering the role of Perodicticinae in the debate on early primate origins. Given their preference for disturbed habitat in a portion of Africa currently experiencing some of the highest rates of habitat loss, angwantibos and pottos are likely interacting with human populations at a much higher rate than previous generations. My research thus has the additional goal of identifying possible conservation concerns in order to help develop plans for the long-term management and monitoring of these primates.
Research Interests: Ecological niche modeling, primate evolution, evolutionary biology, conservation, primate ecology and behavior, phylogenetics.
Publications: Luhrs, A., Svensson, M.S., Nekaris, K.A.I. (in press) Field sightings of Eastern and Central pottos at ten sites in Angola, Cameroon, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda and Uganda: suggestions for future studies. Journal of East African Natural History.
Luhrs, A. (2017). Primate Trade (Africa). The International Encyclopedia of Primatology.