Nicola Koyama

Senior Lecturer in Biological Anthropology

Office:  BS 3.42a James Parsons Building, Byrom Street, Liverpool, L3 3AF

+44 0151 231 2627

Nicola Koyama’s study subjects in the field

Research Interests

Much of my research focuses on understanding how group-living animals, in particular primates, regulate their social relationships and manage conflict. Investigating how individuals manage their social relationships in response to environmental and social factors contributes to our understanding of the evolutionary basis of sociality.

I conduct investigations both in the wild and in captivity and my past research has addressed the maintenance of social relationships in macaques and chimpanzees.

My research has also extended to humans to include investigations of mate preferences and sexual advertisement. I am interested in the adaptive nature of human mate preferences and their plasticity and flexibility in today’s societies.

Current Research Projects

Managing Conflict and Competition

This project addresses the nature of policing behaviour in primates, in particular, impartial third party interventions in aggressive conflicts that terminate the conflict and additionally, how neighbouring groups manage intergroup encounters and potentially aggressive conflict.

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Flexibility in Primate Behaviour

Investigating how urban vervet monkeys flexibly respond to anthropogenic influence and the potential impacts on aspects of health such as parasite load.

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Reciprocity and Interchange

This project focuses on traded commodities and services that involve a fitness cost to the actor and fitness benefit to the recipient. Such commodities cannot be taken by force and are applicable to a wide range of traits such as the removal of ectoparasites through grooming, tolerance around resources and agonistic support during conflicts.

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