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Dr Jacob C Dunn

Dr Jacob C Dunn

Affiliated Lecturer in Biological Anthropology, Cambridge

Senior Lecturer in Behavioural Ecology, ARU

Affiliated Scholar – McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

Biological Anthropology
Department of Archaeology and Anthropology
University of Cambridge

Cambridge CB2 3QG
Office Phone: 01223 (7)61097

Biography:

Jacob originally trained in Zoology at the University of Edinburgh. He then went on to study for an MSc and PhD in Anthropology and Primatology at the University of Barcelona. From 2010 to 2012, he carried out postdoctoral research at the University of Cambridge and the University of Veracruz, Mexico.

Between 2012 and 2016, Jacob was a Lecturer in the Division of Biological Anthropology. In 2016 he also joined the Animal and Environment Research Group at ARU as a Senior Lecturer, but keeps an Affiliate Lecturer post here in Bioanth and an office in the Henry Welcome Building (3.2). 

Over the last few years, Jacob has developed several projects related to the evolution of primate communication systems. For example, he has investigated the evolution of primate coat colour, using comparative data from zoo animals and museum specimens, as well as vocal production in howler monkeys and other primates. His projects use an interdisciplinary approach to understand how habitat, socio-ecology, health, physiology and life history traits relate to variation in phenotypic traits important for communication and reproduction.

His current research takes a comparative approach to understanding the evolution of human language, particularly vocal production mechanisms. 

He collaborates closely with the Fitch lab in the Department of Cognitive Biology at the University of Vienna. 

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Research Interests

I am broadly interested in the biology and evolution of communication systems in humans and other animals (mostly primates). I work on various projects related to (but not restricted to) the following general themes: 

            • Bioacoustics

            • Vocal production

            • Evolution of language

            • Sexual selection

            • Phylogenetic comparative methods (macroevolution)

            • Behavioural ecology

            • Functionaly morphology

            • Eco-physiology

            • Primatology

Research Supervision

I welcome enquiries from prospective research students and postdocs in the areas of my research interests.

 PhD Students

2017 – Robin Morrison, Dept. Archaeology & Anthropology, University of Cambridge (Co-Supervisor) – ‘Cooperation, kinship and territoriality in gorillas’

2017 – Denise Hebesberger, Dept. Life Sciences, Anglia Ruskin University (Co-Supervisor) – ‘Benefits of social bonds in horses’

2017 – Alice Poirier, Dept. Life Sciences, Anglia Ruskin University (Co-Supervisor) – ‘Making sense of scents: primate scent-marking behaviour and semiochemistry’

2017 – Max Kerney, Dept. Life Sciences, Anglia Ruskin University (1st Supervisor) – ‘What drove primate brain evolution? An analysis of competing hypotheses’

2012 – 2016 - Monica Alcocer-Rodríguez, Dept. Psychology, University of Barcelona (1st Supervisor) – ‘Demographic evolution of Alouatta palliata in a forest fragments: migration, relatedness and habitat characteristics’

2014 – 2016 - Jenna Dittmar, Dept. Archaeology & Anthropology, University of Cambridge (Advisor) – ‘An archaeological examination of human dissection and its role in anatomical education in England from 1600-1900’

MPhil Students

2016 – 2017  - Megan Beardmore-Herd, Dept. Archaeology, University of Cambridge (1st Supervisor) – ‘The evolution of human language and the recognition of informative intentions’

2015 – 2016 - David Momjian, Dept. Archaeology & Anthropology, University of Cambridge (1st Supervisor) – ‘Variation in hyoid shape in Alouatta: using principal component analysis to quantify morphological change’

Teaching

I currently teach on the BAN1 (Humans in a Biological Perspective), BAN2 (Behavioural Ecology) papers, as well as teaching on the IA (Evolution & Behaviour) paper for Zoology

Key Publications

2017 Garcia M, Herbst C, Bowling D, Dunn JC, Fitch WT. Acoustic allometry revisited: morphological determinants of fundamental frequency in primate vocal production. Nature Scientific Reports 7: 10450.

2017 Bowling DL, Garcia M, Dunn JC, Ruprecht R, Stewart A, Frommolt KH, Fitch T. Body size and vocalisation in primates and carnivores. Nature Scientific Reports 41070.

2015 Dunn JC, Halenar L, Davies T, Cristóbal-Azkarate J, Fitch T, Knapp L. Evolutionary tradeoff between vocal tract and testes dimensions in howler monkeys. Current Biology 25: 2839-2844 

Other Publications

2017 Bowling DL, Garcia M, Dunn JC, Stewart A, Hantke G, Kitchener A, Handschuhe S, Dengg S, Gumpenberger M, Fitch WTS. Mechanistic determinants of vocalization in primates and carnivores. BMC Evolutionary Biology (in press).

2017 Garcia M, Herbst C, Bowling D, Dunn JC, Fitch WT. Acoustic allometry revisited: morphological determinants of fundamental frequency in primate vocal production. Nature Scientific Reports 7: 10450.

2017 Asensio N, Jose-Dominguez JM, Dunn JC. Socioecological factors affecting territoriality among howler monkeys. International Journal of Primatology (in press)

2017 Cristóbal-Azkarate J, Dunn JC, Domingo-Balcells C, Vea JJ. A ten-year history of demographic change in a population of free-ranging howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata) living in a fragmented landscape in Los Tuxtlas, Mexico. PeerJ 5:e3547

2017 Kerney M, Smears J, Schoenemann T & Dunn JC. The coevolution of play and the cortico-cerebellar system in primates. Primates (Early Online).

2017 Dunn JC, Cristobal-Azkarate J, Rodriguez-Luna E & Knapp L. Predicting the effects of climate change and habitat destruction on the conservation of Mexican primates: current perspectives and future prospects. In: In the name of climate change. Bodenhorn B, Irvine R (eds.). Berghahn Press (in press).

2016 Dunn JC & Cristóbal-Azkarate J. New World monkeys. Nature Education Knowledge 7(6): 1.

2016 Cristóbal-Azkarate J, Dunn JC, Domingo-Balcells C, Vea JJ. A ten-year history of demographic change in a population of free-ranging howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata) living in a fragmented landscape in Los Tuxtlas, Mexico. PeerJ PrePrints 3:e800v1 

2015 Dunn JC, Halenar L, Davies T, Cristóbal-Azkarate J, Fitch T, Knapp L. Evolutionary tradeoff between vocal tract and testes dimensions in howler monkeys. Current Biology 25: 2839-2844 

2015 Ordóñez-Gómez JD, Dunn JC, Arroyo-Rodríguez V, Santillán Doherty AM, Méndez-Cárdenas MG, Márquez-Arias A. Role of emitter and severity of aggression influence the agonistic vocalizations of Geoffroy’s spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi). American Journal of Primatology 36: 429-440

2015 Cristóbal-Azkarate J, Dias PA, Dunn JC, Asensio N, Hervier B, Vegas-Carillo S, Rodríguez-Luna E & Vea-Baro JJ. The effects of forest fragmentation on howler monkey populations in Los Tuxtlas: an integrated perspective. In: Advances and perspectives in tropical biology. Reynoso-Rosales VH & Coates R (eds.). UNAM Press. Mexico City.

2014 Cristóbal-Azkarate J, Dunn JC, Day J, Amábile-Cuevas C. Resistance to antibiotics of clinical relevance in the fecal microbiota of Mexican wildlife. PLoS One e107719. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0107719.

2014 Dunn JC, Shedden-González A, Cristóbal-Azkarate J, Cortés-Ortiz L, Rodríguez-Luna E & Knapp L. Limited genetic diversity in the critically endangered Mexican howler monkey (Alouatta palliata mexicana) in the Selva Zoque, Mexico. Primates 55: 155-160

2014 Arroyo-Rodríguez V, Asensio N, Dunn JC, Cristóbal-Azkarate J & Gonzalez-Zamora A. Use of lianas by primates: more than a food source. In: Ecology of lianas. Schnitzer S, Bongers F, Burnham R & Putz F (eds.). Springer Press. pp 407-426.

2013 Dunn JC, Cristóbal-Azkarate J, Chavira R & Veà J. Travel time predicts fecal glucocorticoid levels in free-ranging howler monkeys. International Journal of Primatology 34: 246-259.

2013 Cristóbal-Azkarate J, Dunn JC. Lessons from Los Tuxtlas: 30 years of research into primates in fragments. In: Primates in fragments: complexity and resilience. Marsh L, Chapman C (eds.). Springer. New York. pp 75-88. 2013 Marsh LK, Chapman CA, Arroyo-Rodriguez V, Cobden AK, Dunn J, Gabriel D, Ghai RR, Nijman V, Reyna-Hurtado R, Serio-Silva JC & Wasserman MD. Primates in fragments ten years later: once and future goals. In: Marsh LK & Chapman CA. Primates in fragments: complexity and resilience. Springer Press, New York. pp 503- 523.

2012 Dunn JC, Asensio N, Arroyo-Rodríguez V, Schnitzer S & Cristóbal-Azkarate J. The ranging costs of a fallback food: liana consumption supplements diet but increases foraging effort in howler monkeys. Biotropica 44: 705-714.

2012 Dunn JC, Cristóbal-Azkarate J, Veà J & Chavira R. Effects of fruit consumption and foraging effort on stress levels in two groups of Alouatta palliata mexicana in forest fragments. In: Perspectives in primatology. Gama L, Arriaga-Weiss S & Contreras-Sanchez W (eds.). Villahermosa: UJAT Press.

2011 Cristóbal-Azkarate J, Domingo Balcells C, Dunn JC & Vea-Baro J. Demography, life history and migrations in howler monkeys in Los Tuxtlas. In: The conservation of Mexican primates. Dias PAD, Rangel-Negrin A, Canales D (eds.). Universidad Veracruzana Press.

2010 Rodríguez-Luna E, Solórzano-García B, Shedden A, Rangel-Negrín A, Dias PAD, Cristóbal-Azkárate J, Cortés-Ortiz L, Dunn JC, Domingo-Balcells C, Sánchez S, Carrillo L & Cornejo J. Conservation and management plan for Mexican primates. IUCN/CBSG. 

2010 Dunn JC, Cristóbal-Azkarate J & Veà J. Seasonal variations in the diet and feeding effort of two groups of howler monkeys in different sized forest fragments. International Journal of Primatology 31: 887-903.

2009 Dunn JC, Cristóbal-Azkarate J & Veà J. Differences in diet and activity pattern between two groups of Alouatta palliata associated with the availability of big trees and fruit of top food species. American Journal of Primatology 71: 654-662.

2009 Asensio N, Arroyo-Rodríguez V, Dunn JC & Cristóbal-Azkarate J. Conservation value of landscape supplementation for howler monkeys living in forest patches. Biotropica 41: 768-773.

2009 Arroyo-Rodríguez V, Dunn JC, Benítez-Malvido J & Mandujano S. Angiosperms, Los Tuxtlas Biosphere Reserve, Veracruz, Mexico. Check List 5: 787-799.

2008 Dunn JC, Cristóbal-Azkarate J & Veà J. The feeding ecology of the mantled howler monkey (Alouatta palliata): coping strategies in altered landscapes. Folia Primatologica 79: 299-301.