College of Liberal and Fine Arts

Fernando Campos, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department of Anthropology

Research area: Biological Anthropology

Research in Progress

My research on nonhuman primates addresses evolutionary questions about how organisms respond to changing environments, and how differences between individuals in these responses are linked to important life outcomes, including health, survival, and reproduction. This work aims not only to uncover important biological processes but ultimately to inform conservation planning. Primates are in the midst of a global extinction crisis that is driven by anthropogenic pressures. Increasingly, conservation biologists, land managers, and governing bodies must integrate complex environmental-change contingencies in their decision-making. To be successful, this task must be informed by integrative research on how individuals, groups, and populations are affected by different forms of environmental variability and change. My work employs a biodemographic perspective that investigates factors that determine mortality and fertility, draws links among these factors to health outcomes and life trajectories, and makes comparisons among these processes in humans to those in other organisms.

Most of my research has been carried out with natural primate populations, mainly white-faced capuchins in the Área de Conservación Guanacaste in northwestern Costa Rica, where I maintain an active, field-based research program. Some of my current and ongoing research projects involve savannah baboons in the Amboseli ecosystem of East Africa, and I also do comparative, cross-species research by leveraging a database of primate life history data from several long-term field research sites.

Find out more about my research here: https://campos-lab.net.

Degrees

Ph.D., University of Calgary, 2014

Teaching

I am strongly committed to student education and mentorship. I have experience teaching not only in Biological Anthropology but also in Environmental Studies, which, like Anthropology, is field that embraces an interdisciplinary, holistic approach to understanding humanity’s place in the natural world. I view teaching, mentorship, and research as synergistic activities that draw strength from each other, and consequently my teaching style emphasizes the integration of teaching with research through discussions, engagement with recent scientific literature, and problem-solving exercises. My foremost goals as an educator are to challenge and inspire students, and to prepare them for rewarding careers.

Prospective students: I plan to accept MA and PhD students to start in Fall 2019. I especially encourage applicants who are interested in carrying out research on wild nonhuman primates at the nexus of behavioral ecology, health, and the environment. Current topics of interest include: effects of climate variability on survival and reproduction; variation in early-life experience and its consequences; aging and biomarkers of health in the wild; climate change contingencies in primate conservation; responses to seasonal and inter-annual environmental stressors; and health and fitness consequences of the quality and quantity of social bonds.

Representative Publications

2017 – Campos, FA, Morris, WF, Alberts, SC, Altmann, J, Brockman, DK, Cords, M, Pusey, A, Stoinski, TS, Strier, KB, Fedigan, LM. Does climate variability influence the demography of wild primates? Evidence from long-term life-history data in seven species. Global Change Biology, 23 (11).

2017 – Kalbitzer U, Bergstrom ML, Carnegie SD, Wikberg EC, Kawamura S, Campos FA, Jack KM, and Fedigan LM. Female sociality and sexual conflict shape offspring survival in a Neotropical primate. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(8), 1892–1897.

2015 – Campos FA, Jack KM, and Fedigan LM. Climate oscillations and conservation measures regulate white-faced population growth and demography in a regenerating tropical dry forest in Costa Rica. Biological Conservation 186: 204–213.

2014 – Campos FA, Bergstrom ML, Childers A, Hogan JD, Jack KM, Melin AD, Mosdossy KN, Myers MS, Parr NA, Sargeant E, Schoof VAM, and Fedigan LM (2014). Drivers of home range characteristics across spatiotemporal scales in a neotropical primate, Cebus capucinus. Animal Behaviour 91: 93–109.

2014 – Campos FA and Fedigan LM. Spatial ecology of perceived predation risk and vigilance behavior in white-faced capuchins. Behavioral Ecology 25(3): 477– 486.

2013 – Campos FA and Jack KM. A potential distribution model and conservation plan for the critically endangered Ecuadorian capuchin, Cebus albifrons aequatorialis. International Journal of Primatology 34(5): 899-916.

2013 – Campos FA and Fedigan LM. Urine-washing in white-faced capuchins: a new look at an old puzzle. Behaviour 150(7): 763-798.

2009 – Campos FA and Fedigan LM. Behavioral adaptations to heat stress and water scarcity in white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus) in Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 138 (1): 101-111.

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Department of Anthropology

University of Texas at San Antonio

College of Liberal and Fine Arts

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