Silvia Alvarez

Graduate Student


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In my research, I integrate comparative, theoretical, and case-based approaches to understand the diversity of grouping behaviors observed in animals. In particular, I am interested in understanding the factors determining the diversity of grouping patterns and how social behavior influences movement decisions. For my dissertation, I am studying the effects of cognitive capacity and resource availability on inter- and intraspecific variation of fission-fusion systems in mammals. I am also exploring the influence of individual variation in recognition systems on grouping patterns, using agent-based models. In addition, I use movement data of orangutan and spider monkeys to understand the influence of grouping on movement patterns.


  • Boyle, S. A., Thompson, C. L., Deluycker, A., Alvarez, S. J., et al. 2016. Geographic comparison of plant genera used in frugivory among the pitheciids Cacajao, Callicebus, Chiropotes, and Pithecia. American Journal of Primatology. 78: 493-506

  • Alvarez, S. J. and Heymann, E. W. 2012. Brief communication: A preliminary study on the influence of physical fruit traits on fruit handling and seed fate by white-handed titi monkeys (Callicebus lugens). American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 147: 482-488.

Previous education

  • 2007 MS, Biodiversity and Ecology Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany
  • 2004 BS, Biology Universidad Nacional de Colombia

Silvia Alvarez


  • Livia Baer-Bositis
    Tufts University
  • Shauhin Alavi
    Rutgers University
  • Christina Campbell
    California State University, Northridge

Previous work

  • Grupo de Investigación en Ecología y Biogeografía
    Universidad de Pamplona, Colombia

From the gallery

Azuero spider monkey  Field site  Capuchin monkey  Azuero spider monkey