Christine M. Drea
Earl D. McLean Professor
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.
Drea, CM, Vignieri, SN, Kim, HS, Weldele, ML, and Glickman, SE. "Responses to olfactory stimuli in spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta): II. Discrimination of conspecific scent." J Comp Psychol 116.4 (December 2002): 342-349.
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.
Place, NJ, Holekamp, KE, Sisk, CL, Weldele, ML, Coscia, EM, Drea, CM, and Glickman, SE. "Effects of prenatal treatment with antiandrogens on luteinizing hormone secretion and sex steroid concentrations in adult spotted hyenas, Crocuta crocuta." Biol Reprod 67.5 (November 2002): 1405-1413.
Drea, CM, Place, NJ, Weldele, ML, Coscia, EM, Licht, P, and Glickman, SE. "Exposure to naturally circulating androgens during foetal life incurs direct reproductive costs in female spotted hyenas, but is prerequisite for male mating." Proc Biol Sci 269.1504 (October 7, 2002): 1981-1987. Full Text
Drea, CM, Place, NJ, Weldele, ML, Coscia, EM, Licht, P, and Glickman, SE. "Exposure to naturally circulating androgens during foetal life incurs direct reproductive costs in female spotted hyenas, but is prerequisite for male mating." Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 269.1504 (2002): 1981-1987. Full Text
Place, NJ, Holekamp, KE, Sisk, CL, Weldele, ML, Coscia, EM, Drea, CM, and Glickman, SE. "Persistent effects of prenatal treatment with anti-androgens on the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis of adult spotted hyenas." BIOLOGY OF REPRODUCTION 66 (2002): 306-306.
Place, NJ, Drea, CM, Holekamp, KE, Weldele, ML, Coscia, EM, and Glickman, SE. "Sex differences and effects of prenatal anti-androgens on LH secretion in spotted hyenas." AMERICAN ZOOLOGIST 41.6 (December 2001): 1557-1557.
Drea, CM, and Wallen, K. "Low-status monkeys "play dumb" when learning in mixed social groups." Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 96.22 (October 26, 1999): 12965-12969.
Drea, CM. "Status, age, and sex effects on performance of discrimination tasks in group-tested rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta)." J Comp Psychol 112.2 (June 1998): 170-182.
Drea, CM, Weldele, ML, Forger, NG, Coscia, EM, Frank, LG, Licht, P, and Glickman, SE. "Androgens and masculinization of genitalia in the spotted hyaena (Crocuta crocuta). 2. Effects of prenatal anti-androgens." J Reprod Fertil 113.1 (May 1998): 117-127.