Erin E. Kane, PhD

Primate socioecology, endocrinology, and morphology


In my current role, I am the scientific program manager for Sarah Mazzilli’s lab in Boston University’s Department of Computational Biomedicine. I manage projects related to understanding lung pre-cancer and early-stage lung cancer.

I trained as an ecologist and anthropologist whose work focuses broadly on primate feeding ecology and physiology. My research examines the impacts of resource distribution on primate socioecology, life history, and community ecology by synthesizing observational research on wild primates with research on physiology and morphology.

As a postdoctoral research associate at Boston University, I worked with Dr. Cheryl Knott on a project examining life history influences on orangutan feeding ecology in Gunung Palung National Park, West Kalimantan, Indonesia, with an emphasis on nutrition, digestion, and endocrinology. I am also examining the relationship between orangutans’ feeding ecology, food mechanical properties, and oral processing behavior, and developing a project on the energetic costs of lactation and weaning.

My dissertation research combined behavioral research and endocrinology to examine the behavioral, dietary, and reproductive strategies allowing female Diana monkeys (Cercopithecus diana) in Côte d’Ivoire’s Taï National Park to maintain a fruit-rich diet year round with minimal intragroup competition. I continue to study West African guenons with a focus on community and nutritional ecology.

Adult female orangutan eating Tetramistera fruit in Gunung Palung National Park
Adult female Diana monkey in Tai National Park, Cote d’Ivoire.