The Power Of Community Partnerships: Answering The Call For Wildlife


Date: Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Time: 12:00 - 1:00pm EDT
Format: Online via Zoom (you will receive the link when you register)

In this talk, you will be introduced to the newly renovated Rainforest Revealed section at Brevard Zoo, where conservation and research come together to teach us about the complexities of animal life! Rainforest Revealed is home to the spider monkeys, a vulnerable species native to South America. Brevard Zoo’s Jodi Palmer will discuss the conservation of this species, and Florida Tech faculty Dr. Darby Proctor and Dr. Kate Talbot will talk about the troop's social dynamics, including the story of Mateo, the newest addition to the troop. Drs. Proctor and Talbot will update you on Mateo’s integration with his new family and talk to you about some exciting new research they are working on, which you will soon be able to observe live at the zoo when the new cognition center can safely welcome guests.

Florida Tech has a growing partnership with Brevard Zoo, an independent, not-for-profit organization and our local zoo. Together, we share a commitment to wildlife conservation and research.

Faculty Bios

Dr. Darby Proctor is an assistant professor of psychology at Florida Tech. Her research focuses on decision-making in nonhuman primates in order to understand the evolutionary roots of human decision-making biases. She was instrumental in setting up a collaboration between Florida Tech and Brevard Zoo, and she conducts research with their animals—most notably the spider monkeys. In addition to this line of research, she is interested in pedagogy and increasing student involvement in the classroom. She created to provide hands-on animal experiences for undergraduate students at Florida Tech and beyond. Before coming to Florida Tech, she was an NIH-funded IRACDA Fellow in Research and Science Teaching (FIRST) at Emory University and Yerkes National Primate Research Center. She received her Ph.D. in psychology from Georgia State University.

Dr. Catherine F. Talbot is an Assistant Professor in the School of Psychology at Florida Tech and co-director of the Animal Cognitive Research Center at Brevard Zoo. After receiving her B.S. in Biology at Florida State University, Dr. Talbot completed her Ph.D. in Cognitive Sciences at Georgia State University. Throughout her academic career, her overarching research goal has been to study the ultimate (evolutionary) and proximate (behavioral, biological, and developmental) mechanisms underlying sociality. Dr. Talbot’s graduate research focused on face recognition and social knowledge in nonhuman primates and was supported by the National Science Foundation, the American Psychological Association, as well as a number of internal awards. Dr. Talbot joins us from the Neuroscience and Behavior Unit at the California National Primate Research Center at the University of California, Davis, where she worked as a postdoc on a collaborative bio-behavioral project examining naturally occurring low-sociability in rhesus monkeys as a model for the core social deficits seen in people with autism spectrum disorder, specifically targeting the underlying mechanisms of social functioning.

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