Carola Borries, Research Associate Professor

Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences, Stony Brook University,
My research focuses on socioecological models, reproductive strategies, and life history and is based on behavioral, ecological, hormonal and genetic data of wild primate populations. Most of my research deals with Asian colobines, a taxon that is widely distributed but not well studied in contrast to its sister taxon (cercopithecines), which provides the majority of data in primate behavioral ecology. Due to specific, morphological adaptations, however, colobines have likely developed different solutions to similar challenges in the past rendering them strong test cases for current socioecological models. – The majority of the work is performed in collaboration.

 List of research interests

Dominance & competition – focusing on competition as expressed via dominance interactions, relationships and hierarchies, including dominance styles, evolutionary stable strategies, age-inversed and matrilineal hierarchies

Male & female reproductive strategies – factors affecting reproductive success (paternities, interbirth intervals in females, offspring survival); infanticide by males together with male and female counterstrategies to infanticide

Primate socioecology – emphasizing ecological influences on behavior and reproduction, assessing the fit of current socioecological models for populations of Asian colobines

Reproduction & life history – proceeding from reproduction and its constraints the different life history stages are investigated in a modular approach. Since 2014, I am building a database for published primate life history values (with Andreas Koenig, Paul Fodor, earlier also Mojca Stojan-Dolar, Adam Gordon; supported by NESCent, Durham) that will become publicly available.
Selected Publications


2016   Borries C, Sandel AA, Koenig A, Fernandez-Duque E, Kamilar JM, Amoroso CR, Barton RA, Bray J, di Fiore A, Gilby IC, Gordon AD, Mundry R, Port M, Powell LE, Pusey AE, Spriggs A, Nunn CL. Transparency, usability, and reproducibility: guiding principles for improving comparative databases using primates as examples. Evolutionary Anthropology 25:232-238

2013   Borries C, Gordon AD, Koenig A. Beware of primate life history data: a plea for data standards and a repository. PLoS ONE 8: e67200

Life History

2014   Borries C, Lu A, Ossi-Lupo K, Larney E, Koenig A. The meaning of weaning in wild Phayre’s leaf monkeys: last nipple contact, survival, and independence. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 154: 291-301

2011   Borries C, Lu A, Ossi-Lupo K, Larney E, Koenig A. Primate life histories and dietary adaptations: a comparison of Asian colobines and macaques.  American Journal of Physical Anthropology  144: 286-299

2001    Borries C, Koenig A, Winkler P. Variation of life history traits and mating patterns in female langur monkeys (Semnopithecus entellus). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 50: 391-402



2017   Morino L, Borries C. Offspring loss after male change in wild siamangs: the importance of abrupt weaning and male care. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 162: 180-185

2011   Borries C, Savini T, Koenig A. Social monogamy and the threat of infanticide in larger mammals. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 65: 685-693

2011   Zhao Q, Borries C, Pan W. Male takeover, infanticide, and female countertactics in white-headed leaf monkeys (Trachypithecus leucocephalus). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 65: 1535-1547; doi: 10.1007/s00265-011-1163-9

2004    Broom M, Borries C, Koenig A. Infanticide and infant defence by males: modelling the conditions in primate multi-male groups. Journal of Theoretical Biology 231: 261-270

1999    Borries C, Launhardt K, Epplen C, Epplen JT, Winkler P. Males as infant protectors in Hanuman langurs (Presbytis entellus) living in multimale groups: defence pattern, paternity and sexual behaviour. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 46: 350-356

1999    Borries C, Launhardt K, Epplen C, Epplen JT, Winkler P. DNA analyses support the hypothesis that infanticide is adaptive in langur monkeys. Proceedings of the Royal Society, London, Biological Sciences 266: 901-904

1997    Borries C. Infanticide in seasonally breeding multimale groups of Hanuman langurs (Presbytis entellus) in Ramnagar (South Nepal). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 41: 139-150


Dominance & Reproductive Success

2016   de Vries D, Koenig A, Borries C. Female reproductive success in a species with an age-inversed hierarchy. Integrative Zoology 11:433-446

2016   Lu A, Borries C, Gustison M Larney E, Koenig A. Age and reproductive status influence dominance in wild female Phayre’s leaf monkeys. Animal Behaviour 117: 145-153

2016   Perlman RF, Borries C, Koenig A. Dominance relationships in male Nepal gray langurs (Semnopithecus schistaceus). American Journal of Physical Anthropology 160: 208-219

2013    Lu A, Borries C, Caselli A, Koenig A. Effects of age, reproductive state, and the number of competitors on the dominance dynamics of wild female Hanuman langurs. Behaviour 150: 485-523

2009    Broom M, Koenig A, Borries C. Variation in dominance hierarchies among group-living animals: modelling stability and the likelihood of coalitions. Behavioral Ecology 20: 844-855

2008    Lu A, Koenig A, Borries C. Formal submission, tolerance, and socioecological models: a test with female Hanuman langurs. Animal Behaviour 76: 415-428

2001    Launhardt K, Borries C, Hardt C, Epplen JT, Winkler P. Paternity analysis of alternative male reproductive routes among the langurs (Semnopithecus entellus) of Ramnagar. Animal Behaviour 61: 53-64

1991    Borries C, Sommer V, Srivastava A. Dominance, age, and reproductive success in free-ranging female Hanuman langurs (Presbytis entellus). International Journal of Primatology 12: 231-257



2013   Koenig A, Scarry CJ, Wheeler BC, Borries C. Variation in grouping patterns, mating systems, and social structure: what socio-ecological models attempt to explain. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 368: p. 9

2012   Koenig A, Borries C. Hominoid dispersal patterns and human evolution. Evolutionary Anthropology 21: 108-112

2009    Koenig A, Borries C. The lost dream of ecological determinism: time to say ‘goodbye’ or a White Queen’s proposal? Evolutionary Anthropology 18: 166-174

2008    Borries C, Larney E, Lu A, Ossi K, Koenig A. Costs of group size: lower developmental and reproductive rates in larger groups of leaf monkeys. Behavioral Ecology 19: 1186-1191

2006    Koenig A, Borries C. The predictive power of socioecological models: a reconsideration of resource characteristics, agonism, and dominance hierarchies. In: G Hohmann, MM Robbins, C Boesch (eds) Feeding Ecology in Apes and Other Primates - Ecological, Physical, and Behavioral Aspects, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 263-284

1997    Koenig A, Borries C, Chalise MK, Winkler P. Ecology, nutrition, and timing of reproductive events in an Asian primate, the Hanuman langur (Presbytis entellus). Journal of Zoology, London 243: 215-235

1993    Borries C. Ecology of female social relationships: Hanuman langurs (Presbytis entellus) and the van Schaik model. Folia Primatologica 61: 21-30