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Valérie A.M. Schoof

Valérie A.M. Schoof

Picture of Valérie A.M. Schoof
Valérie A.M. Schoof

Eligible to Supervise

Biology Graduate Program

Research Focus

My general research program integrates the behavioral endocrinology of primates with their ecology and evolution. I aim to understand how individuals respond behaviorally and physiologically to their social and physical environment, and how these responses influence individual survival and reproduction.

Behavior is the fundamental means by which animals respond to their environment. Behavior is best described as the nervous system’s response to internal and external stimuli - a response that is carried out by the muscular and endocrine systems. As such, hormones play a critical role in facilitating behavior. For group-living animals, responses to both the social and physical components of the environment can have important effects on the evolutionary consequences, in terms of survival and reproduction, of different behaviors.

The study of individual behavioral variation is paramount to understanding how and why behavior has evolved, and how animals adapt to different and changing environments. This is especially important given the extent of habitat modification and climate changeand increasing threats to biodiversity. Field studies of behavioral endocrinology, and the emerging field of conservation endocrinology, can inform us about species adaptability to change by examining hormonal responses of organisms to their changing environments. My primary field research is on vervet monkeys living on the shores of Lake Nabugabo in Uganda, but I also conduct research on vervets at Lewa-Borana Conservancy in Kenya, and collaborate on projects with the Toronto Zoo and on savanna chimpanzees in Senegal.

Representative Publications

L’Allier S, Schwegel MA, Filazzola A, Mastromonaco G, Chapman CA, Schoof VAM. 2022. How individual, social, and ecological conditions influence dispersal decisions in male vervet monkeys. American Journal of Primatology. DOI:10.1002/ajp.23426

Schwegel MA, Filazzola A, Chapman CA, Schoof VAM. 2022. Breeding seasonality in female vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus pygerythrus) living in an anthropogenic landscape. International Journal of Primatology. DOI: 10.1007/s10764-022-00313-y

Buckner JC, Jack KM, Melin AD, Schoof VAM, Gutiérrez-Espeleta GA, Guimarães Moreira Lima M, Lynch JW. 2021. First records of major histocompatibility complex class II DR and DQ evolution and variation in wild capuchin monkey species (Cebinae). PLoS ONE 16(8): e0254604.

Valenta K, Twinomugisha D, Godfrey K, Liu C, Schoof VAM, Goldberg TL, Chapman CA. 2017. Comparison of gastrointestinal parasite communities in vervet monkeys. Integrative Zoology 12:512-520. DOI: 10.1111/1749-4877.12270

Chapman CA, Corriveau A, Schoof VAM, Twinomugisha D, Valenta K. 2017. Long-term simian research sites: significance for theory and conservation. Journal of Mammology 98(3):652-660 DOI: 10.1093/jmammal/gyw157

Chapman CA, Friant S, Godfrey K, Liu C, Sarkar D, Schoof VAM, Sengupta R, Twinomugisha D, Valenta K, Goldberg TL. 2016. Social behaviours and networks of vervet monkeys are influenced by gastrointestinal parasites. PLOS ONE 11(8): e0161113. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0161113

Chapman CA, Schoof VAM, Bonnell TR, Gogarten JF, Calmé S. 2015. Competing pressures on populations: long-term dynamics of food availability, food quality, disease, stress, and animal abundance. Philosophical Transactions B 370(1669) 20140112; DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2014.0112

Schoof VAM, Jack KM, Ziegler TE. 2014. Male response to female ovulation in white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus): variation in testosterone, DHT, and glucocorticoid production. International Journal of Primatology. 35:643-660.

Schoof VAM, Jack KM. 2014. Male social bonds: Strength and quality among coresident white-faced capuchin monkeys (Cebus capucinus). Behaviour 151:963-992.

Schoof VAM, Wikberg EC, Jack KM, Fedigan LM, Ziegler TE, Kawamura S. 2014. Infanticides during periods of social stability: kinship, resumption of ovarian cycling, and mating access in white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus). Neotropical Primates 21: 192-196.

Jack KM, Schoof VAM, Sheller CR, Rich CI, Klingelhofer PP, Ziegler TE, Fedigan L. 2014. The influence of age and rank on fecal testosterone, DHT, and cortisol excretion in male white-faced capuchin monkeys (Cebus capucinus) in Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica. General and Comparative Endocrinology 195:58-67.


Primate behavioural ecology, socioendocinology, competition and cooperation, reproductive success, life-history trade-offs

Research Areas

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology