Assoc Prof Alison Behie

Associate Professor in Biological Anthropology
School of Archaeology and Anthropology

In 2010, Alison received a Ph.D from The University of Calgary in Biological Anthropology (with a primatology specialization). Her dissertation work examined the effects of a major hurricane on a howler monkey population in Southern Belize, specifically examining the roles of food supply, nutrition, stress hormones and parasitism in the recovery of this population. From 2009 - 2011, Alison lectured in both the Department of Anthropology at The University of Calgary and The Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Mount Royal University in Calgary.

In 2011, Alison was appointed lecturer in Biological Anthropology at ANU. In 2015 she was appointed Head of Biological Anthropology in the School of Archaeology and Anthropology and in 2016 became a senior lecturer. Currently, Alison is also an ARC DECRA fellow researching the impact of cyclones and hurricanes on the behaviour and distribution of lemurs in Madagascar and New World Monkeys in Central America.

In addition to her interests in studying the impact of environmental change on non-human primates, Alison also explores similar interests in humans particularly focussing on how stress during pregnancy impacts birth outcomes and early childhood development in populations in the Asia-Pacific region.

Research interests

Pregnancy, birth and stress - The impacts of prenatal stress caused by disasters and environmental changes on pregnancy and birth

Primate behaviour and conservation - 1. Understanding animal adapation to anthropogenic threats from logging and hunting. 2. Understanding the impact of environmental disasters on primate behaviour, ecology, conservation and physiology

  • Behie AM and Pavelka MSM. 2014. Fruit as a key factor in howler monkey population density: conservation implications. In Howler monkeys: Examining the biology, adaptive radiation, and behavioral ecology of the most widely distributed Genus of Neotropical Primate. Kowalewski M, Garber PA, Cortes-Ortiz L, Urbani B and Youlatos D (eds). Springer Press.
  • Kowalzik, B, Pavelka MSM, Kutz S and Behie AM. 2010. Parasites, Primates and Ant-Plants: Clues to the lifecycle of Controrchis sp. in black howler monkeys, Alouatta pigra, in Southern Belize. Journal of Wildlife Disease 46 (4): 1330-1334
  • Behie, AM and Pavelka, MSM. 2005. The short-term effect of Hurricane Iris on the diet and activity budget of black howlers (Alouatta pigra) in Monkey River, Belize. Folia Primatologica 76(1): 1-9.
  • Pavelka, MSM and Behie, AM. 2005. The effect of Hurricane Iris on the food supply of black howlers (Alouatta pigra) in southern Belize. Biotropica 37(1): 102-108.

  • Pavelka, MSM, Brusselers, OT, Nowak, D and Behie, AM. 2003. Population reduction and social disorganization in black howlers (Alouatta pigra) following a hurricane. International Journal of Primatology. 24(5): 1037-1055.