Christine Drea's Research Lab
The Drea lab members study aspects of mammalian social behavior and reproductive behavior focused on exceptional carnivores and primates. In these unusual species, the females display a suite of masculinized characteristics including male-like or exaggerated external genitalia and social dominance. Of primary concern are the physiological and behavioral correlates of reproductive and social development, with a focus on mechanisms of sexual differentiation. Through a combined laboratory and field approach, Drea lab members investigate topics such as reproductive and socio-endocrinology, genital and developmental morphology, and social behavior (particularly aggression, play, and scent marking in both sexes). We seek to better understand the evolution of female social dominance and the mechanisms of mammalian sexual differentiation.
Current projects include:
-Neuroendocrine and behavioral mechanisms of female dominance and reproductive skew in wild meerkats
-Comparative studies on the composition of chemical signals
-The genetic diversity of several immune function genes in ring-tailed lemurs
-Olfactory communication in Propithecus coquereli
-Behavior and neuroendrocrinology in several species of Eulemur
Scroll through the photos below to see the animals studied in the Drea Lab.