Christine Drea's Research Lab

Research Overview

The Drea lab studies aspects of mammalian social behavior and reproductive behavior focused on carnivores and primates. Particularly the unusual species in which 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 investigates such areas as reproductive and socio-endocrinology, genital and developmental morphology, and social behavior (particularly aggression, play, and scent marking in both sexes). The Drea lab seeks to shed light on such questions as 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 neuro-endrocrinology in several species from Eulemur

Scroll through the photos below to see the animal members of the Drea Lab.

    • catta on tree
    • Photo Credit: Marylene Boulet
    • img 4159
    • Photo Credit: Javier delBarco-Trillo
    • Emf female
    • Photo Credit: David Haring
    • Sifaka
    • Photo Credit: Lydia Greene
    • spotted hyena
    • Photo Credit: Christine Drea
    • Catta line
    • Photo Credit: Marylene Boulet
    • Blue-eyed Emf
    • Catta sitting
    • Photo Credit: Photo by Marie Charpentier
    • Meerkat colony
    • Photo Credit: Christine Drea
    • Prop
    • Photo Credit: Lydia Greene
    • Ring-tailed lemur Scent Mark
    • Photo Credit: Lydia Greene
    • kody close
    • Photo Credit: Christine Drea
    • Sifakas
    • Photo Credit: Lydia Greene
    • Ring-tailed lemur babies
    • Photo Credit: Lydia Greene
    • Eulemur
    • Photo Credit: Lydia Greene
    • Meerkats
    • Photo Credit: Javier delBarco-Trillo
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Photos by Marylene Boulet, Marie Charpentier, Jeremy Crawford, Javi delBarco-Trillo, Lydia Greene, and David Haring.
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    • Photo Credit: Drea Lab

Drea Lab Exciting News!


- Dana Pfefferle, our new postdoc, arrives.  Welcome to the lab Dana.

- Lydia and Christine's newest publication was featured on NSF's homepage!  Lemur lovers sync their scents. And with a video!

- More press for lemur lovers.

- New Publication: Greene, L.K. & Drea, C.M. (2014). Love is in the air: sociality and pair bondedness influence sifaka reproductive signalling. Animal Behaviour 88: 147-156.

- Check out the press for our new publication! It's near Valentine's day and lemur love is in the air.  In fact, Lemurs in Love Start to Smell Alike.


- Lydia returns from the field, bringing funny tales and valuable samples.

- Kendra presents her research on meerkat parasitology at the SICB annual meeting in Austin, TX.


- New Publication: Charpentier, M.J.E. & Drea, C.M. (2013). Victims of infanticide and conspecific bite wounding in a female-dominant primate: a long-term study. PLoS ONE.

- Check out the press for our new publication!

For more Drea lab news, click here!


    • Dr. Christine Drea