Dr. Shawn M. Lehman
I'm an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto. I completed my BA in anthropology at The University of Calgary, where I was an offensive guard on the 1985 National Championship football team (Go Dinos!). For my Ph.D. research at Washington University in St. Louis (supervised by the late Robert W. Sussman), I conducted almost 2,000 kilometers of primate surveys in Guyana, South America.  Since 1998, I have been working on the conservation biogeography of lemurs in Madagascar, a magical place containing some of the most amazing natural wonders in the world.

Graduate Students

Keren Klass
Keren joined the PhD program in 2014, after three years managing Israel's National Ecosystem Assessment. Keren completed her Master's degree at Columbia University in 2010, where she studied dominance and agonism in the blue monkey in Kakamega Forest, Kenya. Following her Master's degree, Keren managed a research project on vocal communication in the same population of blue monkeys in Kakamega. Her research interests include primate social behavior and the effects of habitat degradation and fragmentation on primate behavior and ecology.

Malcolm Ramsay
Malcolm joined the PhD program in 2016. After completing his BA in Anthropology (Biology Minor) at the University of Waterloo, Malcolm worked for 14 months managing a research camp and studying the endemic Gelada monkey in the Ethiopian Highlands. For his MSc research, Malcolm investigated how roads influence the dispersal ecology of mouse lemurs in Ankarafantsika National Park. Malcolm's PhD will build upon his previous research and will investigate how mouse lemurs move and disperse throughout large-scale heterogeneous environments in Madagascar. You can find out more about his current and previous research on his ResearchGate profile (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Malcolm_Ramsay).

Fernando Mario Mercado Malabet
Fernando joined the PhD program in 2017. He completed his BSc in Biology and Anthropology (Joint Major) at Trent University and his MA in anthropology at the University of Western Ontario. For his M.A. research, Fernando conducted a three-month field season in N. Madagascar, studying how anthropogenic and environmental impact on forest fragments influence the habitat choices of crowned lemurs (Eulemur coronatus) at Oronjia conservation park. Fernando’s PhD research will focus on studying how landscape structure and behavioural characteristics affect the population viability of two sympatric species, brown lemurs (Eulemur fulvus) and mongoz lemurs (Eulemur mongoz), in N.W. Madagascar. His research interests include conservation biology, environmental niche modelling, and lemur biogeography.

Dr. Jean Arseneau-Robar
Dr. Arseneau-Robar joined the lab as a postdoc in May 2018 under a University of Toronto Arts and Science   Postdoctoral Fellowship.  She recently completed her PhD at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, where she studied cooperative intergroup aggression in vervet monkeys. During her doctorate, she spent 2.5 years at the Inkawu Vervet Project in South Africa, collecting behavioural data and conducting field experiments (e.g. playback experiments and predator models) on a wild population of vervet monkeys. Her research highlighted that group members gain very different benefits, and experience different costs during intergroup fights and that conflicts of interest can often arise as a result. This species uses a number of strategies to resolve these conflicts of interest and achieve more effective cooperative outcomes; these strategies include punishment, coercion and rewards. In her future work, she plans to continue to investigate how individual decisions manifest into group-level patterns of cooperative behaviour, and how group members deal with conflicts of interest. You can read more about her findings on her ResearchGate profile.


Matthew de Vries (MSc 2017).  How “edgy” are tamarins? A preliminary investigation of spatial variation in the behaviour of two sympatric callitrichids.
Travis Steffens (PhD 2017).  Biogeographic patterns of lemur species richness and occurrence in a fragmented landscape.
Abigail Ross (PhD 2017).  Maternal Effort, food quality, and cortisol variation during lactation in Propithecus coquereli in northwestern Madagascar.
Malcolm Ramsay
(MSc 2016).  Roads inhibit movement in Malagasy primates.
Kim Valenta
(PhD 2014).  Primate-plant interactions in the tropical dry forests of northwestern Madagascar: Seed dispersal and sensory ecology of Eulemur fulvus.
Ryan Burke (MSc 2013). Edge effects and competitive exclusion in two sympatric species of mouse lemurs in northwestern Madagascar .
Laura Bolt (PhD 2013). The relationship between dominance and vocal communication in the male ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) .
Keriann McGoogan
(PhD 2011). Edge effects on Coquerel's sifaka (Propithecus coquereli) in northwest Madagascar.
Brooke Crowley, PhD (2010 Postdoctoral Fellow). Stable isotopes and edge influences on lemurs and forests in Madagascar.
Katy Wilson (MSc 2010). Quantifying the extent of edge effects on mid-altitude forest structure of southeastern Madagascar using a spatially explicit technique.
Katherine Banner-Martin (MSc 2009). Interior versus exterior forest edges: their effect on the home range, spatial ecology and feeding ecology of Milne-Edwards' Sifakas (Propithecus edwardsi) in Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar.
Courtney Sendall (MSc 2008). Edge effects on lemur parasites.
Rochelle Lundy (MSc 2005). Conservation of primates in eastern Madagascar: An investigation of minimum area requirements for the prevention of future species loss in protected areas.
Andrea Faulkner (MSc 2005). Relationship between leaf chemistry and feeding patterns in a small-bodied nocturnal folivore (Avahi laniger).
Angel Vats (MSc 2004). Lemur distribution in relation to food source availability and forest edge.