Monkey FAQ

What kind of work do you do?

Our work is behaviorally-based. We observe the animals in their daily routine. Occasionally we give the animals puzzles, which they enjoy. Often these are identical tasks to the ones we give to children in our lab.

Where do the studies take place?

Our studies take place at Monkey Jungle. The DuMond Conservancy oversees research. Projects are reviewed by the IACUC (Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee) and personnel are trained to work with animals.

What can I expect as a student?

Students participate in data collection at Monkey Jungle, data analysis in the lab at FIU, readings and lab meetings as scheduled, and other tasks depending on level and experience. Opportunities exist to contribute to scientific articles or to conduct an independent project/thesis. Students should be prepared to work outdoors where conditions are often hot. Students must have their own transportation.

What are you working on now?

Our current projects focus on laterality and motor planning in spider monkeys (A. f. rufiventris). Spider monkeys are a New World species with no thumb, and a tail that works like a fifth limb that can be used to pick up objects.