Drivers of Social Variation: Competition for Food Resources

Michelle Brown, Ph.D.
CBSR Affilated Faculty
Department of Anthropology

Portrait of Michelle Brown

Michelle Brown’s research focuses on one of the main drivers of social variation: competition for food resources. She develops novel methods to disentangle the energetic effects of feeding competition among individuals, social groups, and species. Using information on the magnitude and timing of competition, she identifies its demographic effects on populations and tests hypotheses regarding collective behavior and social relationships. She conducts fieldwork on eight populations of wild monkeys at five sites in Uganda and co-directs the Biobehavioral Laboratory on the UCSB campus. She also works to diversify the fields of biological anthropology and animal behavior through extensive mentoring and training of students from under-represented groups in STEM fields.