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Positions Available

MRes Primate Biology, Behaviour and Conservation

Educational Organization:
Roehampton University, London, UK

Date Posted:

Program Description:
This Masters in Research (MRes) will give you a unique opportunity to study primate biology, behaviour and conservation in depth and will provide you with the skills needed to carry out research in primatology. The MRes is designed to teach you how to conduct original research, and to put your findings into a theoretical context. This will prepare you for more advanced research (e.g. a PhD) and for consultancy work. The programme will combine theoretical investigation with laboratory and fieldwork on a range of topics. You will carry out practical investigations in zoos and local habitats and learn how to interpret skeletal material. After the first semester the emphasis will be on independent study, with all students carrying out an in-depth piece of original research. This may be carried out using museum collections, the University laboratories (e.g. hormonal analyses), on animals in captive collections (the University does not hold captive animals) or free-ranging animals. Students will be offered a range of projects by University staff, who have well established links with a number of institutions and field sites, but may also use their own contacts to find appropriate projects. All MRes students will produce a dissertation and a written paper in a form suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

**Recent MRes student successes**


Many MRes students publish the results of their research projects in prestigious international journals. Examples include (student is the first author in each case):

Borg, C, Majolo, B, Qarro, M and Semple, S (2014) A comparison of body size, coat condition and endoparasite diversity of wild Barbary macaques exposed to different levels of tourism. Anthrozoos 27, 49-63

Boulton, RA and Ross, C (2013) Measuring facial symmetry in the wild: a case study in Olive Baboons (Papio anubis). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 67, 699-707

McFarland, R, MacLarnon, A, Heistermann, M and Semple, S (2013) Physiological stress hormone levels and mating behaviour are negatively correlated in male rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). Animal Biology 63, 331-341

Wallace EK, Kingston-Jones M, Ford M and Semple S (2013) An investigation into the use of music as potential auditory enrichment for Moloch gibbons (Hylobates moloch). Zoo Biology 32, 423-426

Gustison, M, MacLarnon, A, Wiper, S and Semple, S (2012) An experimental study of behavioural coping strategies in free-ranging female Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus). Stress 15, 608-617

Kaburu, SSK, MacLarnon, A, Majolo, B, Qarro, M and Semple, S (2012) Dominance rank and self-scratching among wild female Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus). African Zoology 47, 74-79

Buckley, V and Semple, S (2012) Evidence that displacement activities facilitate behavioural transitions in ring-tailed lemurs. Behavioural Processes 90, 433-435

Ellis, JJ, MacLarnon, AM, Heistermann, M and Semple, S (2011) The social correlates of self-directed behaviour and faecal glucocorticoid levels among adult male olive baboons (Papio hamadryas anubis) in Gashaka-Gumti National Park, Nigeria. African Zoology 46, 302-308

Carne, C, Wiper, S and Semple, S (2011) The reciprocation and interchange of grooming, agonistic support, feeding tolerance and aggression in semi-free-ranging Barbary macaques. American Journal of Primatology 73, 1â??7

Maréchal, L, Semple, S, Majolo, B, Qarro, M, Heistermann, M and MacLarnon, A (2011) Impacts of tourism on anxiety and physiological stress levels in wild male Barbary macaques. Biological Conservation 144, 2188â??2193

Moses, K and Semple, S (2011) Primary seed dispersal by the black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata) in the Manombo forest, southeast Madagascar. Journal of Tropical Ecology 27, 529â??538

Reamer, L, Tooze, Z, Coulson, C and Semple, S (2010) Correlates of self-directed and stereotypic behaviours in captive red-capped mangabeys (Cercocebus torquatus torquatus). Applied Animal Behaviour Science 124, 68-74

Le Hellaye, Y, Goossens, B, Jamart, A and Curtis, DJ (2010) Acquisition of fissionâ??fusion social organization in a chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes troglodytes) community released into the wild. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 64, 349-360

PhD applications

Since 2009, eighteen former MRes students - Nicola Bryson, Charlotte Carne, Jackie Ellis, Piotr Fedurek, Gabriella Gronquist, Adeelia Goffe, Morgan Gustison, Nicola Guthrie, Roxanne Hawkins, Stefano Kaburu, Laetitia Marechal, Megan Petersdorff, Tabitha Price, Kathryn Shutt, Patrick Tcakzynski, Nicole Thompson, Amber Walker-Bolton and Chris Young - have been awarded funded PhD positions. We wish them all the very best with their studies!

Entrance Qualifications:
Candidates should normally hold a minimum of a U.K. upper second-class Honours degree (or equivalent for EU/overseas students) in biological sciences or a related area with sufficient biological anthropology. Please contact us for advice if you are not sure whether your qualifications are sufficient.

Tuition / Fees:
Please follow the Fees link on this page for up to date costs:

Support (scholarships, travel):
See the Roehampton University webpage for details of scholarships available to international students:

Start + End Dates:

Application Deadline:
We have limited places on the course, so please contact Prof Stuart Semple ( if you are interested in applying, to register interest. Usually, we review applications in June; applications after that may be considered, depending on availability of places.

Contact Information:
Prof Stuart Semple
Department of Life Sciences, Holybourne Avenue
London SW15 4JD
United Kingdom


E-Mail Address:

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