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Anthropology Department
New York University
25 Waverly Place
New York, NY 10003

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Constance Dubuc


Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Primate Reproductive Strategies Laboratory
Department of Anthropology, New York University


Ph.D. 2010, Université de Montréal, Canada
M.Sc. 2004, Université de Montréal, Canada
B.Sc. 2001, Université de Montréal, Canada






Primate Reproductive Strategies

Research Focus:

My research interests are centered on the evolution of reproductive strategies in anthropoid primates. My research can be divided into three main areas: (1) the evolution of sexual signals, (2) the relationship between male dominance hierarchy and reproductive success in large multimale-multifemale groups (male reproductive skew), and (3) the nature of male-female sexual associations (consortships). As a postdoctoral researcher in at NYU, I am working with James Higham to investigate the causes and consequences of intra-specific variation in sexually-selected traits and mating strategies. My current work focuses on one trait in particular: sexual skin coloration. To examine these questions, I work with the rhesus macaques of the free-ranging population of Cayo Santiago, Puerto Rico, using a combination of physiological measures, color methods, field experiments, and behavioral observations. I am also constructing a framework that aims to explain the inter-specific variation in sexually-selected traits among anthropoid primates using a behavioral ecology approach with James Higham and Antje Engelhardt (German Primate Center).


  • Dubuc, C., Higham, J., & Engelhardt, A. (in revision). Towards an understanding of the variation in mating tactics and sexually-selected traits in multimale-multifemale anthropoid primates.
  • Dubuc, C., Ruiz-Lambides, A., & Widdig, A. (in revision). Male lifetime reproductive success and opportunity for selection in a promiscuous primate.
  • Dubuc, C., Allen, W.L., Maestripieri, D., & Higham, J.P. (in revision). What is the function of male rhesus macaque red colour ornamentation?
  • Dubuc, C., Coyne, S., & Maestripieri, D. 2013. Effect of mating activity and dominance rank on male masturbation among free-ranging male rhesus macaques. Ethology 119: 1-8.
  • Dubuc, C., Muniz, L., Heistermann, M., Widdig, A., & Engelhardt, A. 2012. Do males time their mate-guarding effort with the fertile phase in order to secure fertilisation in rhesus macaques?
Hormones and Behavior 61: 696-705.
  • Dubuc, C., Hughes, K.D, Cascio, J., & Santos, L. 2012. Social tolerance in a despotic primate: co-feeding between consortship partners in rhesus macaques. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 148: 73-80.
  • Higham, J.P., Hughes, K.D., Brent, L.J.N., Dubuc, C., Engelhardt, A., Heistermann, M., Maestripieri, D., Santos, L.R., & Stevens, M. 2011. Familiarity affects the assessment of facial signals in free-ranging rhesus macaques. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 278: 3452-3458.
  • Bélisle, P., Prud’homme, J., & Dubuc, C. 2012. The impact of kinship, defence cost and priority of access on food competition. In Leca, J.B., Huffman, M.A. & Vasey, P. (eds.) The Monkeys of Stormy Mountain: 60 Years of Primatological Research on the Japanese Macaques of Arashiyama, pp. 331-355. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Neumann, C., Duboscq, J., Dubuc, C., Ginting, A., Maulana Irwan, A., Agil, M., Widdig, A., & Engelhardt, A. 2011. Assessing dominance hierarchies: validation and advantages of progressive evaluation with Elo rating. Animal Behaviour 82: 911-921.
  • Dubuc, C., Muniz, L., Heistermann, M., Engelhardt, A., & Widdig, A. 2011. Testing the priority-of-access model in a seasonally breeding primate species. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 65: 1615-1627.
  • Brent, L.J.N., Semple, S., Dubuc, C., Heistermann, M., & MacLarnon, A. 2011. Social capital and physiological stress levels in adult female rhesus macaques. Physiology and Behavior 102: 76-83.
  • Higham, J.P., Brent, L.J.N., Dubuc, C., Accamando, A., Engelhardt, A., Gerald, M.S., Heistermann, M., & Stevens, M. 2010. Color signal information content and the eye of the beholder: a case study in the rhesus macaque. Behavioral Ecology 21: 739-746.
  • Dubuc, C., Brent, L.J.N., Accamando, A.K., Gerald, M.S., MacLarnon, A., Semple, S., Heistermann, M., & Engelhardt, A. 2009. Sexual skin color contains information about the timing of the fertile phase in free-ranging rhesus macaques. International Journal of Primatology 30: 777-789.
  • Dubuc, C., & Chapais, B. 2007. Feeding competition in Macaca fascicularis: An assessment of the early arrival tactic. International Journal of Primatology 28: 357-367.