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Durham University

Research & business

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Dr Sharon Kessler

Personal web page

Marie Curie Fellow in the Department of Anthropology

Contact Dr Sharon Kessler (email at sharon.e.kessler@durham.ac.uk)

Thank you for visiting my website. My work integrates disease ecology and animal cognition. I am interested in the role of cognition in the evolution of behavioral defenses against infectious disease.

I earned my PhD in 2014 from Arizona State University, then obtained three independent, internationally competitive postdoctoral fellowships in computer simulation modeling (McGill University, Canada), virology (Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Germany) and primate disease signaling (Durham University, England).

For more information please see my personal website: https://www.sharonekessler.com/

Research Groups

Department of Anthropology

Research Interests

  • Primate behaviour and cognition
  • Health signalling
  • Evolutionary medicine
  • Conservation medicine
  • Evolution of care-giving in humans
  • Agent-based models
  • Bioacoustics

Publications

Selected Grants

  • 2016: Marie Skłodowska Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship, European Commission Research Executive Agency. DiseaseRecognition. With Prof Joanna M. Setchell.
  • 2016: Postdoctoral fellowship to the Leibniz Institute of Zoo and Wildlife Research, German Academic Exchange Service. Mouse lemurs as potential sentinels and reservoirs of disease in Madagascar
  • 2015: American Association of Physical Anthropologists Career Development Grant, Mouse lemurs as potential sentinels and reservoirs of disease in Madagascar.
  • 2015: Goldberg Research Grant, The Nacey Maggioncalda Foundation. Selection to outsmart the germs: The evolution of disease recognition and social cognition.
  • 2015: Wenner-Gren Foundation. Selection to outsmart the germs.
  • 2014: Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, The Fonds de Recherche du Québec, Nature et Technologies. Disease transmission and cognition.
  • 2011: Animal Behavior Society Student Research Grant. Modeling the origins of primate sociality: Kin recognition in mouse lemurs.
  • 2011: Scholar Award given by the International Chapter of the P.E.O. Sisterhood. Modeling the origins of primate sociality: Kin recognition in mouse lemurs.
  • 2010: German Academic Exchange Service, 10 month fellowship to University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Germany. Kin recognition in mouse lemurs. Grant no. A/09/81743.
  • 2010: Lewis and Clark Fund of the American Philosophical Society. Modeling the origins of primate sociality: Kin recognition in mouse lemurs.
  • 2010: National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grant. Modeling the origins of primate sociality: Kin recognition in mouse lemurs. Grant no. #0961779.
  • 2009: American Society of Primatologists, General Small Grant. Using living mouse lemurs to model the origins of primate sociality: Do mouse lemurs use vocalizations as a mechanism for recognizing kin and forming social groups?
  • 2009: Sigma Xi, Grants-in-Aid of Research. Using living mouse lemurs to model the origins of primate sociality: Do wild mouse lemurs use vocalizations as a mechanism for recognizing kin and forming social groups? Grant no. G2009101504.
  • 2008: Sigma Xi, Grants-in-Aid of Research. Kin recognition in the gray mouse lemur, Microcebus murinus, at the Institute of Zoology at the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover (Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover), Germany. Grant no. G200810150592.