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Thesis title: Energetics in a changing climate: implication for behavioural and evolutionary adaptations of Nycticebus javanicus
Start year: 2015
The main aims of my research are to contribute to the growing theoretical literature on climate change, using the Javan slow loris as a model species to reveal the extreme physiology and energetics of mammalian thermoregulation in the context of climate change and evolution. To do this, I am studying wild Javan slow lorises – a nocturnal primate, endemic to the Indonesian island of Java – to measure and analyse physiological parameters. This research will be of an interdisciplinary approach, combining biological anthropology, climatology, animal physiology and ecology.
Comparing torpor use in lemurs and lorises between different climates, I aim to produce a testable model in predicting behavioural responses and home range shifts in response to future climate shifts that will be relevant for conservation of slow lorises and other hibernating mammals. I also intend to produce clear and concise protocol for rescue centres to choose appropriate geographic re-introduction sites for slow lorises.
Lorises are known to consume approximately one-third of their energetic needs through floral nectars. Through analyses on feeding ecology and foraging behaviour, I will test the long-debated theories within biological anthropology related to evolution of primates and their characteristics by identifying: a.) if there is a potential role of pollination by N. javanicus, and b.) the role of grasping hands (in the manipulation of floral inflorescences) in regard to primate origins.
Primate evolution, energetics, torpor, climate change, foraging behaviour, behavioural adaptations, plant – pollinator mutualism
Primate evolution, conservation biology, climate change, animal physiology, behavioural adaptations, feeding ecology, pollination ecology, microclimate use, agroforestry, ethnoprimatology, conservation education, agroforestry