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What You'll Study
  • How to design your own research study on primate behavior—which you can conduct on location in Peru if you take the optional study-abroad field course through George Mason University
  • How ecology, behavior, and life history influence primate abundance, distribution, and population dynamics
  • Current conservation and management strategies for protection of primates and their habitats
  • Techniques for assessing habitat, diet, and food availability
  • Basic orienteering skills, including map, compass, and GPS use
Program Details

June 18 – July 1, 2018 (2 weeks) | Mason’s academic calendar

Available Formats

Undergraduate (CONS 480, 3 credits)
Graduate (CONS 580, 3 credits)


Undergraduate: $1,954 In-State/$5,695 Out-of-State
Graduate: $2,380 In-State/$3,452 Out-of-State

+ $60 educational resource fee, $80 lab fee, $48 course fee. Based on Spring 2018 rates at Mason; subject to change

Who's Eligible?

3rd- and 4th-year undergraduates, graduate students, and non-degree-seeking students from any accredited college or university

Meet the Faculty

Anneke DeLuycker
Anneke DeLuycker
Assistant Professor of Conservation Studies
Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation
Anneke is a biological anthropologist specializing in the ecology, behavior, and conservation of primates, particularly in the Neotropics. Her research concerns how ecological and evolutionary processes influence behavioral patterns.


This course will provide exposure to essential field techniques for conducting research on primates — one of the most charismatic yet highly endangered vertebrate groups on the planet. You’ll learn to identify the behavioral and ecological strategies that primates use and their role in the ecological community. You’ll carry out basic field methods relevant to the study of primates, including diet composition, habitat assessment, and survey techniques.

More than half of all primate species are threatened with extinction in the wild. The major issue facing many primate species is habitat disturbance, including habitat loss, alteration, and fragmentation. In light of the severity of this conservation issue, students will develop research questions to inform conservation efforts and management strategies.

Your final project will be to develop a research proposal on primate behavior that helps inform conservation efforts. If you choose to enroll in the corresponding study abroad field course through Mason, CONS 497: Primate Behavior and Conservation in Peru, you’ll have the opportunity to conduct your research in the wild at the Los Amigos Biological Station in Peru.

This course is an excellent introduction for students interested in applied animal behavior science, conservation behavior, biological anthropology, psychology, cognitive sciences, exotic animal studies, animal care and management, animal welfare, and zoo, museum, and conservation work.

Check out this incredible footage, taken by SMSC professor Dr. Anneke Deluycker, of a wild birth event of a little known species of Titi Monkey (Callicebus oenanthe).Titi monkeys (genus Callicebus) are small-bodied South American primates, and they display an unusual social aspect in that they form pair-bonded groups and the male performs most of the offspring care, including carrying the infant. SMSC’s Dr. Anneke DeLuycker, who studied a group of Andean titi monkey (Callicebus oenanthe), a critically endangered species endemic to a small region in northern Peru, had the lucky opportunity to witness a female titi monkey giving birth. She obtained photographs and video footage, which is the first known footage of a titi monkey giving birth in the wild. You can read her publication here:

Posted by Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation on Thursday, June 27, 2013

Capturing an Endangered Species' Wild Birth

This incredible video, taken by SMSC professor Anneke Deluycker, is the first known footage of a titi monkey giving birth in the wild. This little-known species called Callicebus oenanthe is critically endangered and endemic to a small region of northern Peru.

Take the next step toward a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity
Program Details