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Author ORCID Identifier


Campus-Only Access for One (1) Year

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Jason Kamilar

Subject Categories

Behavior and Ethology | Biological and Physical Anthropology


The Kinda baboon (Papio kindae) has recently emerged as a distinct member of the baboon clade and the sixth widely recognized baboon species. Early observations of Kinda baboons suggested a distinct social system characterized by adult relationships that diverge from those in other savannah-living baboon species. In this dissertation, I present results from the Kasanka Baboon Project, which I founded to study the behavior and natural history of Kinda baboons living in Kasanka National Park, Zambia. I draw on nearly a decade of longitudinal data to explore three components of Kinda baboon biology. First, I explore how Kinda baboon activity patterns change in association with temperature, rainfall, and other bioclimatic variables. I find that Kinda baboons shift their activity patterns in response to temperature changes by increasing their feeding and traveling times. Seasonal- and climate-associated differences in activity, however, largely resemble corresponding differences reported for other baboon species. Second, I explore how two components of the baboon social environment, maternal dominance rank and the strength of female social bonds, are associated with infant survival, interbirth intervals, and infant development. I find that dominance rank and the strength of maternal social bonds do not predict infant survival or interbirth intervals. However, both maternal dominance rank and the strength of social bonds (particularly those with her top male partner) are associated with accelerated infant behavioral maturation. Finally, I use data collected on adult female and male Kinda baboons to characterize the nature of female-male relationships. I find that the frequency of female-male grooming is elevated in Kinda baboon social systems relative to those of all other baboon species. Moreover, female-male relationships are characterized by greater investment by males, who differentially approach females and perform a greater share of grooming. The degree of investment by males largely persists across female reproductive conditions. Female-male friendships last over multiple years and are skewed between sexes, with males having multiple female friends but females having only one male friend. Together, my findings contribute to our understanding of the basic biology of the Kinda baboon and set the stage for hypothesis-driven research in the newest-recognized baboon species.


Available for download on Saturday, February 01, 2025