How did emotions evolve in non-human primates? How do they use technology to develop tools? What are the characteristics of their sexual behavior? What is the conservation status of primates on the planet? How do gender roles affect the formation of social systems? How does primatology contribute to the knowledge of human evolution? These and other topics of scientific interest will be at the center of the debates of the VIII Iberian Primatological Conference, which will bring together about 120 participants at the University of Barcelona, from October 5 to 8, organized in collaboration with the Faculty of Psychology of the UB, the Spanish Institute of Portuguese Primatology (APE) and the Portuguese Association of Primatology (APP).
The conference aims to promote the exchange of experiences between the different areas of primatology, in addition to stimulating communication between participants and promoting reflection and debate between professionals from different disciplines such as psychology, biology and anthropology, among others. This scientific summit will open on Wednesday, October 5, at 10:00 a.m., in an institutional event that will take place at the Paranmph of the UB Historical Building. Among the participants are the rector of the UB, Joan Guàrdia; UB Faculty of Psychology lecturer and conference chair Ruth Dolado; the president of the Spanish Association of Primatology (APE), Ana Fidalgo; and the president of the Portuguese Association of Primatology (APP), Tânia Minhós.
Jordi Sabater Pi, a model in primatology
“Jordi Sabater Pi. Passió per la vida, compromís amb la natura” is the title of the opening lecture, given by Montserrat Colell, lecturer in the Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychobiology of the Faculty of Psychology of the UB. The opening conference will be followed by a round table on the scientific figure of Sabater Pi (1922-2009), ethologist and professor emeritus of the UB as well as the scientific figure of reference for the new edition of this conference. Among the UB experts who will participate in the event are Montserrat Colell and Carles Riba, the drawing teacher Oriol Sabater —the son of Sabater Pi— and the archaeologist margarida Genera i Monells.
Internationally recognized for his studies in ethology, primatology and African anthropology, Sabater Pí left an exceptional scientific legacy which can be consulted in the Sabater Pi Collection of the UB, managed by the Library of Fine Arts of the CRAI, a compilation of the collection documentary of his scientific and graphic work. works, also known for the discovery of the albino gorilla Snowflake. The opening conference and the round table scheduled for Wednesday 5 in the Paranimphe of the Historic Building are open to the public (but with a limited room capacity).
Social behavior, sexuality and technology in non-human primates
After the opening session, the other sessions will continue at the UB Faculty of Psychology, with a lecture by Stephen D. Nash, professor at Stony Brook University (USA). The renowned scientific illustrator —he inspired the name of certain species of primates such as Callicebus stephennashi or Stephen Nash’s titi—, will give a lecture on the value of technical drawing as a research tool, under the title “Importance of Observational Drawing as Research Tool: Jordi Sabater Pi and the tradition of the scientist-illustrator”.
Among other content and presentations, the program includes the participation of Phyllis Lee, Emeritus Professor at the University of Stirling (UK) and expert in social cognitive development and behavioral ecology, who will speak on “The social evolution of primates: from individuals to groups to communities”. Volker Sommer and Matilda Brindle from University College London will discuss the evolution of social and sexual behavior in primates in the lecture “Spanking the Monkey. Form and function of primate masturbation”.
Susana Carvalho, an expert in the evolution of technological behavior and a fellow at the University of Oxford (UK), is the author of the conference “From primate archeology to primate cultural heritage: dispatches from a primatologist from ground “. Iván Puga-González, member of the Norwegian Research Center (NORCE, Norway), will participate in the session “Agent-based models of social behavior of primates”. Before the closing, the scientific writer Toni Pou – lecturer at the University of Vic and author of a biography of Sabater Pi based on his correspondence from Guinea – will give a gloss on the scientific relevance of the ethologist with the conference “Letters from Africa: the passion and scientific activism of Jordi Sabater Pi”. Finally, the conference will end with a visit of the participants to the facilities of Barcelona Zoo.