Maria Creighton


My research interests broadly include primate evolution, behaviour, and conservation. I'm currently completing my PhD with Dr. Susan Alberts in the Department of Biology at Duke University. In 2021 I received my MSc from McGill under the supervision of Dr. Simon Reader. My research at McGill explored how behavioural factors drive species diversification across primate taxa. I additionally looked at how species diversity is influenced by trends in taxonomy, and the implications this may pose for applied primate conservation. During my master’s I received a STRI-McGill-BESS fellowship, which granted me a joint affiliation with the Smithsonian Tropical Institute (STRI). As a STRI affiliate I have spent time in the neotropics studying diet and behaviour of neotropical primates. From February to April of 2018 I spent time on Barro Colorado Island, Panama working with Dr. Margaret Crofoot and PhD candidate Grace Davis. This project focused on fission-fusion dynamics of spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi). From May to July of 2019 I worked with Osa Conservation in the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica to collect data on spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) diet in this region. The plant species identified in this study are now available in our published field guide

Prior to graduate school, I received my BSc in environmental science with a minor in biology from Carleton University. While completing my degree, I worked on a number of applied research projects with themes in conservation and evolutionary biology. During my third year, I conducted a self-directed study in Dr. Joseph Bennett's lab which revealed taxonomic biases associated with the listing and management of Canada's at risk species, which has now been published here. More details on my research experience and interests are detailed in my CV.

Photo by Raina Fan