I am an evolutionary anthropologist and a field primatologist interested in the evolution of social behavior.
My primary research interests are the dynamics of social relationships, mating systems, communication, social learning and traditions, social cognition, cooperation, and life histories. Although I have also studied macaques, the primary species in which I study these topics is the white-faced capuchin monkey, Cebus capucinus.
Since 1990 I have directed the Lomas Barbudal Monkey Project in Costa Rica, which is a long-term study of the behavioral ecology of the white-faced capuchin monkey. This is one of the longest-running and most detailed studies of a primate society in the wild. The data set includes demographic data for 10 social groups, social and foraging behavior data, hormone data, genetic data enabling construction of genealogies, personality ratings, acoustic communication, and video data on gestures. Further details of the accomplishments and current research associated with this project, as well as information about how to take part in the research, can be found at capuchinfoundation.org.
Perry, S. with Manson, J. (2008) Manipulative Monkeys:The Capuchins of Lomas Barbudal. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog/PERMAN.html
Fragaszy, D. & S. Perry. 2003. The Biology of Traditions: Models and Evidence. (Edited volume), Cambridge University Press.
Perry, S., Manson, J.H., Muniz, L., Gros-Louis, J., Vigilant, L. 2008. Kin-biased Social Behaviour in Wild Adult Female White-faced Capuchins (Cebus capucinus). Animal Behaviour 76(1):187-199.
Perry, S., M. Baker, L. Fedigan, J. Gros-Louis, K. Jack, K. MacKinnon, J. Manson, M. Panger, K. Pyle, & L. Rose. 2003. Social conventions in wild white-faced capuchin monkeys: Evidence for traditions in a neotropical primate. Current Anthropology 44: 241-268.
Perry, S. 1997. Male-female social relationships in wild white-faced capuchin monkeys, Cebus capucinus. Behaviour 134:477-510.
UCLA Anthropology Students for whom I am chair:
Irene Godoy (kin recognition, mate choice and female reproductive strategies in capuchins)
Kotrina Kajokaite (modeling of life history strategies in male capuchins)
Caitlin DeRango (communication and coalitionary strategies in capuchins)
Current students co-mentored at other institutions:
Brendan Barrett (social learning about food processing in capuchins) (Anthropology, UC-Davis)
Colleen Gault (behavioral endocrinology of female capuchins) (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology)
Franka Schaebs (behavioral endocrinology of male capuchins) (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology)
Past students co-mentored at other institutions:
Whitney Meno (ontogeny of predator recognition in capuchins) (PhD 2012, Psychology, UC-Davis)
Laura Muniz (kinship and social structure in capuchins) (PhD 2008, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology)
Kristin Fisher (ranging behavior of an all-male group of capuchins) (School of Natural Resources, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor)