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skthorpe40
02-28-2008, 11:32 PM
We are pleased to announce a PhD in LOCOMOTOR ECOLOGY OF WILD ORANGUTANS, SIAMANGS AND GIBBONS.

Interested applicants should contact Dr. Thorpe at S.K.Thorpe@bham.ac.uk as soon as possible with their CV.

Project outline

In the Locomotor Ecology and Biomechanics lab at the University of Birmingham we focus on understanding how organisms get to be built the way they are built, and the consequences of their design for patterns of resource use, interactions with other species, and for patterns of evolution. We study the association between animal form, function and performance through lab and zoo-based studies of functional morphology and biomechanics, combined with field studies of the performance of animals in their natural habitat.

We have an opening for a new PhD student for a largely field-based study of primate locomotor ecology. The proposed project will compare the locomotor ecology of sympatric orangutans, gibbons and siamangs to understand niche separation in these closely related apes. The project will complement existing and ongoing studies of orangutan locomotion and primate morphology (see references below) that together contribute to our understanding of the evolution of ape (including human) morphology and behaviour. The project is likely to involve extensive fieldwork as well as some zoo-based studies and some studies of functional morphology in primates.

The successful candidate will:

(i). have some knowledge of biomechanics of humans and/or other animals

(ii). have a background in whole animal biology

(iii). have some experience of working in the field

(iv). be willing to spend protracted time in the field adding up to a total of approximately 18 months

(v). display motivation and a stubborn resolve to work in remote field sites

(vi). be able to work as part of a research team and with local people

This study will be based at the University of Birmingham under the supervision of Dr. Thorpe in collaboration with Prof. R. Crompton and Dr. E. Vereeke of the University of Liverpool.

References

Thorpe, SKS, Holder R and Crompton RH. (2007) Origin of human bipedalism as an adaptation for locomotion on flexible branches Science 316:1328-1331

Thorpe, SKS, Crompton RH and Alexander, R.McN. (2007) Orangutans utilise compliant branches to lower the energetic cost of locomotion. Biology Letters 3: 253-256

Thorpe SKS, Crompton RH (2006) Orangutan positional behavior and the nature of arboreal locomotion in Hominoidea American Journal Of Physical Anthropology 131 (3): 384-401.

Thorpe SKS, Crompton RH (2005) Locomotor ecology of wild orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus abelii) in the Gunung leuser ecosystem, Sumatra, Indonesia: A multivariate analysis using log-linear modelling American Journal Of Physical Anthropology 127 (1): 58-78

Thorpe SKS, Crompton RH, Gunther MM, Ker RF and Alexander R.McN. (1999). Dimensions and moment arms of the hind- and forelimb muscles of common chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). American Journal of Physical Anthropology (110: 179-199).



Dr. Susannah K.S. Thorpe
School of Biosciences
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK.

Tel: +44 (0)121 414 5040
Fax: +44 (0)121 414 5925
email: S.K.Thorpe@bham.ac.uk
http://www.biosciences.bham.ac.uk/About/staff_profiles_Contact.htm?ID=85