Cebus capucinus

© Carolyn Hall

1.   The Santa Rosa Primate Field Project

I initiated this project in Costa Rica in 1983. My long-term goal is to describe the behavioral ecology, conservation parameters and life histories of the 3 primate species (capuchins, howlers and spider monkeys) in the park. I have conducted frequent censuses of the monkey groups throughout the 100 km2 park over a 25 year period, and several groups of each species were first targeted 23 years ago for intensive, longitudinal study. We collect continuous life history data on selected female capuchins. Twenty-seven advisees have completed their theses (eight doctoral, 19 masters) at the site under my supervision, and two more (two Doctoral, one Masters) are currently underway. Numerous undergraduate and graduate students have assisted in my fieldwork and been part of our research team. I employ Costa Rican field assistants year-round on the project (Rodrigo Morera 1985-1995, Saul Cheves 2011-present, Ronald Lopez 2016-present), and I hire other Costa Ricans on shorter-term contracts. A 1998 film on our project was produced by OMNI Film Productions for the series "Champions of the Wild" (Discovery Channel). Dorothy Fragaszy, Elisabetta Visalberghi and I co-authored a book entitled The Complete Capuchin Monkey, published by Cambridge University Press in March 2004.

Macaca fuscata
2.    The Arashiyama West‑East Primate Project

I was associated with this project in North America and Japan from its beginning in 1972 until data collection ceased in 1996. I was the Field Station Manager in 1978-79 and spent more than three years "living with" the Arashiyama macaques. My research with this population of monkeys now focuses upon analysis of the long-term database, especially reproductive and life history patterns in females. As well, I held field schools, supervised numerous graduate student thesis projects, spent time in Japan and helped to arrange exchanges with Japanese primatologists. In 1991, I co-edited a volume with Pamela Asquith (The Monkeys of Arashiyama, SUNY Press) that surveyed the research conducted on these macaques in Japan and North America since 1954. Since 1991, I have produced a series of papers on reproductive cessation ("menopause") in primates, co-authored with Mary Pavelka.

3. Gender and Science

Beginning with an interest in how the gender of the scientist affects their research on sex differences, I have moved to a wider focus on the role of gender in scientific disciplines such as anthropology, primatology and biology. Publications include papers on the role of women in models of human evolution; feminism and primatology; science and the successful female; and historical analyses of the effects of gender on changing views of life history research. I co-hosted an international Wenner-Gren conference on the role of gender, method and theory in the history of primatology, and co-edited Primate Encounters. Models of Science, Gender and Society with Shirley Strum (University of Chicago Press, 2000).

Research Links

Santa Rosa National Park & the Area de Conservación Guanacaste

Santa Rosa National Park


Area de Conservación Guanacaste


Santa Rosa Photo Database




Dr. Katharine Jack, Tulane University


Dr. Amanda Melin, University of Calgary


Dr. Shoji Kawamura, University of Tokyo


Dr. Urs Kalbitzer, McGill University