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John Oates


Professor, Department of Anthropology, Hunter College and the Graduate School, City University of New York Professor, C.U.N.Y. Graduate Programs in Biology and Biopsychology

Fields of Study

Primate social behavior, ecology and conservation biology, with a special focus on African rain forests; plant chemistry and food selection by mammals; zoogeography and evolutionof African primates; West Africa, India.

Current Research Interests

I am currently giving special attention to the factors that influence the distribution and abundance of African rain-forest monkeys. This has involved an extension of some of my earlier studies that analyzed relationships between plant chemistry and food selection by colobines to a broader examination of the determinants of biomass in whole primate communities (e.g., at Tiwai Island in Sierra Leone). My zoogeographical studies have led to the establishment of new range limits for several primates, and they will be deepened to gain insights on speciation processes within the African forest zone; in this work, geographical analysis is being combined with studies of vocalizations and, in collaboration with NYCEP colleagues, of evolutionary genetics. My studies are also showing the profound impact that humans are having on the distribution and abundance of forest-living monkeys and apes in Africa. This has led me to a deepening involvement with conservation issues.

Selected Publications

Oates, J.F. (1996) African Primates: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. Revised Edition. Gland: IUCN.

Oates, J.F. (1996) Habitat alteration, hunting and the conservation of folivorous primates in African forests. Australian Journal of Ecology 21: 000-000 (in press)

Oates, J.F. (1995) The dangers of conservation by rural development: A case study from the forests of Nigeria. Oryx 29: 115-122.

Davies, A.G. & Oates, J.F. (eds) (1994) Colobine Monkeys: Their Ecology, Behaviour and Evolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Oates, J.F., Whitesides, G.H., Davies, A.G., Waterman, P.G., Green, S.M., Dasilva, G.L. & Mole, S. (1990) Determinants of variation in tropical forest primate biomass: New evidence from West Africa. Ecology 71: 328-343.

Oates, J.F. (1988) The diet of the olive colobus, Procolobus verus, in Sierra Leone. International Journal of Primatology 9: 457-478.

Oates, J.F. (1988) The distribution of Cercopithecus monkeys in West Afican forests. Pp. 79-103 in A Primate Radiation: Evolutionary Biology of the African Guenons, ed. A Gautier-Hion, F. Bourli²re, J.-P. Gautier & J. Kingdon. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Oates, J.F. (1987) Food distribution and foraging behavior. Pp. 197-209 in Primate Societies, ed. B.B. Smuts, D.L. Cheney, R.M. Seyfarth, R.W. Wrangham & T.T. Struhsaker. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Oates, J.F. & Trocco, T.F. (1983) Taxonomy and phylogeny of black-and-white colobus monkeys: Inferences from an analysis of loud-call variation. Folia Primatologica 40: 83-113.

Oates, J.F. (1977) The social life of a black-and-white colobus monkey, Colobus guereza. Zeitschrift fÙr Tierpsychologie 45: 1-60.