Christine M. Drea

Earl D. McLean Professor

External address: 
129 Bio Sci Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Duke Box 90383, 08 Bio Sci Bldg, Durham, NC 27708-0383
Phone: 
(919) 660-7367

Overview

I have two broad research interests, sexual differentiation and social behavior, both focused on hyenas and primates. I am particularly interested in unusual species in which the females display a suite of masculinized characteristics, including male- like or exaggerated external genitalia and social dominance. The study of naturally occurring hormones in such unique mammals can reveal general processes of hormonal activity, expressed in genital morphology, reproductive development, and social behavior. Taking a combined laboratory and field approach allows me to relate captive data to various facets of the animals' natural habitat, thereby enhancing the ecological validity of assay procedures and enriching interpretation in an evolutionary framework. The goal of comparative studies of hyenas and lemurs is to help elucidate the mechanisms of mammalian sexual differentiation.

My research program in social behavior focuses on social learning and group cohesion. Using naturalistic tasks that I present to captive animals in socially relevant contexts, I can investigate how social interaction modulates behavior, problem- solving, and cognitive performance. By studying and comparing models of carnivore and primate foraging, I can better understand how group-living animals modify their actions to meet environmental demands. A primary interest is determining whether similar factors, related to having a complex social organization, influence learning and performance across taxonomic groups. I am also interested in how animals learn rules of social conduct and maintain social cohesion, as evidenced by their patterns of behavioral developmental, the intricate balance between aggression and play, the expression of scent marking, and the social facilitation or inhibition of behavior.

Degrees & Credentials

  • Ph.D., Emory University 1991

  • M.A., Emory University 1990

  • B.S., University of Maryland, College Park 1984

Kwatra, SG, and Drea, CM. "Proteomic analysis of ringtailed lemur scent gland secretions: Glandular- and individual-specific protein profiles." AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PRIMATOLOGY 69 (June 2007): 108-109.

Drea, CM. "How to study socially biased learning in primates? Trends and future directions." AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PRIMATOLOGY 69 (June 2007): 78-79.

Drea, CM. "Hormonal and experiential regulation of social dominance in macaques, hyenas, and lemurs." AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PRIMATOLOGY 69 (June 2007): 125-125.

Glickman, SE, Cunha, GR, Drea, CM, Conley, AJ, and Place, NJ. "Mammalian sexual differentiation: lessons from the spotted hyena." Trends Endocrinol Metab 17.9 (November 2006): 349-356. (Review) Full Text

Drea, CM. "Morphological and hormonal correlates of 'masculinization' in ringtailed lemurs (Lemur catta)." AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY (2006): 85-85.

Drea, CM. "Bateman revisited: the reproductive tactics of female primates." Integr Comp Biol 45.5 (November 2005): 915-923. Full Text

Drea, CM, Vignieri, SN, Cunningham, SB, and Glickman, SE. "Responses to olfactory stimuli in spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta): I. Investigation of environmental odors and the function of rolling." J Comp Psychol 116.4 (December 2002): 331-341.

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