Leslie J. Digby

Associate Professor of the Practice of Evolutionary Anthropology

External address: 
08A Bio Sci Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Duke Box 90383, Durham, NC 27708-0383
(919) 660-7398


My research focuses on the  behavior and ecology of non-human primates, including how primates balance cooperation and competition in their breeding strategies. In addition, I examine how animals mitigate the costs of temperature extremes through behavior and the use of microhabitats. Our results help us better understand the vulnerabilities of species facing more extreme weather fluctuations.

General Research Interests include:

Evolution of Primate & Human Social Behavior
Primate Behavioral Ecology
Mammalian Reproductive Strategies, Mating Systems, and Infanticide
Primate Microhabitat Use
Primate Behavioral Thermoregulation
Marmosets and Tamarins

Degrees & Credentials

  • Ph.D., University of California at Davis 1994


Digby, LJ. "Activity and ranging patterns in common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus): implications for reproductive strategies." Adaptive Radiations of Neotropical Primates. Ed. M Norconk, A Rosenberger, and P Garber. Springer Science & Business Media, June 28, 2011. 175-185. (Chapter)

Digby, LJ, Ferrari, SF, and Saltzman, W. "The role of competition in cooperatively breeding species." Primates in Perspective. Ed. C Campbell, A Fuentes, KC MacKnight, M Panger, and S Bearder. Oxford: Oxford University Press, USA, 2011. 91-107. (Chapter)

Digby, LJ, and Saltzman, W. "Balancing cooperation and competition in callitrichine primates: examining the relative risk of infanticide across species." The Smallest Anthropoids The Marmoset/Callimico Radiation. Ed. S Ford, L Porter, and L Davis. Springer Science & Business Media, August 29, 2009. 135-154. (Chapter)

Abbott, DH, Digby, L, and Saltzman, W. "Reproductive skew in female common marmosets: Contributionsof infanticide and subordinate self-restraint." Reproductive Skew in Vertebrates: Proximate and Ultimate Causes. January 1, 2009. 337-368. Full Text

Digby, LJ. "Infanticide by female mammals: implications for the evolution of social systems." Infanticide by Males and Its Implications. Cambridge University Press, November 2, 2000. 423-446. (Chapter)

Digby, LJ. "Cooperative Breeding." International Encyclopedia of Primatology. Ed. A Fuentes. Wiley Blackwell. (Chapter)

Saltzman, W, Digby, LJ, and Abbott, DH. "Reproductive skew in female common marmosets: What can proximate mechanisms tell us about ultimate causes?." Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 276.1656 (2009): 389-399. Full Text

Digby, LJ, and Kahlenberg, SM. "Female dominance in blue-eyed black lemurs(Eulemur macaco flavifrons)." Primates 43.3 (July 2002): 191-199.

Nievergelt, CM, Digby, LJ, Ramakrishnan, U, and Woodruff, DS. "Genetic analysis of group composition and breeding system in a wild common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) population." International Journal of Primatology 21.1 (2000): 1-20. Full Text

Archie, EA, and Digby, LJ. "Juvenile dominance in Eulemur macaco flavifrons: the influence of sex and maternal rank." Folia Primatol (Basel) 70.5 (September 1999): 277-281.

Digby, LJ, and Barreto, CE. "Vertebrate predation in common marmosets." Neotropical Primates 6.4 (1998): 124-126. (Academic Article)

Digby, LJ, Ferrari, SF, and Castro, AAJF. "Preliminary records of common marmosets in the Parque Nacional de Sete Cidades, Piauí, Brazil." Neotropical Primates 4.2 (1996): 53-55. (Academic Article)

Ferrari, SF, and Digby, LJ. "Wild Callithrix groups: Stable extended families?." American Journal of Primatology 38.1 (1996): 19-27.