• Erin Vogel
  • Erin Vogel
  • Professor, SAS
  • Specialization: Primate feeding ecology, functional morphology, digestive efficiency, protein balance, and energetics, the evolution of cooperation and coalition formation; Costa Rica, Central America; Central Kalimantan and Sumatra, Indonesia.
  • Degree and University: PhD Stony Brook University, NY 2004
  • Office: Room 209B Biological Sciences Building, Douglass Campus
  • Office Hours: Spring 2024 - Monday 2:00-3:15 pm, or by appointment
  • Phone: 848-932-9277
  • Visit Website



My research interests cover a broad array of topics that revolve around the central theme of how primates are able to acquire the food resources they need for survival. As a primate dietary ecologist, I am interested in the factors that influence food acquisition and diet selection in non-human primates. In particular, I am interested in how primates have adapted to maximize energy intake, in face of variable environments. I answer research questions revolving around diet selection and energy acquisition in non-human primates by examining the behavior, morphology, and physiology of my study animals within an ecological context.

Current Research Projects

Vogelinfield21. Digestive efficiency, protein balance, and energetics in non-human primates
2. Understanding the factors that affect geographic variation in orangutan diet selection
3. Diet selection and foraging efficiency in non-human primates
4. Functional ecology and the evolution of hominoid craniodental morphology
5. Coalitions and the evolution of cooperation



The National Science Foundation (PI)


The L.S.B Leakey Foundation (PI)


The United States Agency of International Development (PI)


The US Fish and Wildlife Great Ape Fund


The George Washington University Travel Award


University of California Santa Cruz Professional Development Grant


National Science Foundation Research Grant (PI)


Denver Zoological Foundation Research Grant (PI)


National Science Foundation Research Grant (PI)


L.S.B. Leakey Foundation Research Grant (PI)


UCSC University Council-American Federation of Teachers


L.S.B. Leakey Foundation Research Grant (PI)


Denver Zoological Foundation Research Grant (PI)


National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grant (CoPI)


Organization of Tropical Studies Emily P. Foster Fellowship (PI)


L.S.B. Leakey Foundation Research Grant (CoPI)


Organization of Tropical Studies Emily P. Foster Fellowship (PI)


Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) Fellowship


Slobodkin Research Award: Stony Brook University(PI)


Sokal Travel Award, Stony Brook University (PI)


Webster Chester Biology Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Research, Colby College


Articles in Refereed Journals:

Donati, G., Arrigo-Nelson, S.J., Balestri, M., Boinski, S., Bollen, A., Bridgeman, L.L., Campera, M., Derbe, A., Epplet, T.M., Hohmann, G., Kinnaird, M., Kowalewski, M., Lahann, P., McLennan, M.R., Nekaris, A.K.I., Nijman, V., Ostner, J., Polowinsky, S.Y., Schulka, O., Schwitzer, C., Stevenson, P.R., Talebi, M.G., Tan, C., Vogel, E.R., Wright, P.C., and Ganzhorn, J.U. In press. Low levels of fruit nitrogen as drivers for the evolution of Madagascar’s primate communities. Scientific Reports.

Glowacka, H., McFarland, S.C., Vogel, E.R., Stoinski, T.S., Ndagijimana, F., Tuyisingize, D., Mudakikwa, A., Schwartz, G.T. Online. Toughness of the Virunga mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei) diet across an altitudinal gradient. American Journal of Primatology.

Smith, T.M., Austin, C., Hinde, K., Vogel, E.R., and Arora, M. 2017. Cyclical nursing patterns in wild orangutans. Science Advances. Vol. 3, no. 5, e1601517; DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1601517

Vogel, E.R., Alavi, S.E. *, Utami-Atmoko, S.S., van Noordwijk, M.A., Bransford, T.D., Erb, W.M., Zulfa, A., Sulistyo, F., Farida, W.R., Rothman, J.M. 2017. The nutritional ecology of wild Bornean orangutans in a peat swamp habitat: effects of age, sex, and season. American Journal of Primatology 79:e22618.

Schuppli, C., Forss, S.F., Meulman, E.J, Zweifel, N., Lee, K.C., Rukmana, E., Vogel, E.R., van Noordwijk, M.A., van Schaik, C.P. 2016. Development of foraging skills in two orangutan populations: needing to learn or needing to grow? Frontiers in Zoology 13:43: 1-17.

Coiner-Collier, S. *, Scott, R.S., Chalk, J., Cheyne, S.M., Constantino, P., Dominy, N.J., Elgart, A.A., Glowacka, H., Loyola, L.C., Ossi-Lupo, K., Raguet-Schofield, M., Talebi, M.G., Sala, E.A., Sieradzy, P., Taylor, A.B., Vinyard, C.J., Wright, B.W., Yamashita, N., Lucas, P.W., and Vogel, E.R. 2016. Primate dietary ecology in the context of food mechanical properties. Journal of Human Evolution 98: 103-118.

Lucas, P.W., Vogel, E.R., Yamashita, N. 2016. Symposium of food properties and primates. Journal of Human Evolution 98: 1-4.

Marzec, A.M., Kunz, J.A., Falkner, S., Utami-Atmoko, S.S., Alavi, S.E., Moldawer, A., Vogel, E.R., Schuppli, C., van Schaik, C.P., van Noordwijk, M.A. 2016. The dark side of the red ape: Male-mediated lethal female competition in Bornean orangutans. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 70 (4):459-466.

Laird, M.F. *, Vogel, E.R., Pontzer, H. 2016. Chewing efficiency and occlusal functional adaptation. Journal of Human Evolution 93:140-149.

Chalk, J., Wright, B.W., Lucas, P.W., Schuhmacher, K.D. Richmond, B.G., Vogel, E.R., Fragaszy, D., Visalberghi, E., and Izar, P. 2016. Age-related variation in the mechanical properties of food processed by Sapajus libidinosus. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 145(1):1-10.

Harrison, M.E., Zweifel, N., Husson, S.J., Cheyne, S.M., D’Arcy, L.J., Harsanto, F.A., Morrogh-Bernard, H.C., Purwanto, A., Rahmadt, Santiano, Vogel, E.R., Wich, S.A., van Noordwijk, M.A. 2016. Disparity in onset timing and frequency of flowering and fruiting events in two Bornean peat-swamp forests. Biotropica 48(2):188-197.

Vogel, E.R., Harrison, M.E., Zulfa, A., Bransford, T.D. *, Alavi, S.E. *, Husson, S., Morrogh-Bernard, H. , Santiano, Firtsman, T., Utami-Atmoko, S.S., van Noordwijk, M.A., Farida W.R. 2015. Nutritional differences between two orangutan habitats: implications for population density. PLoS One. 10(10): e0138612.

Vogel, E.R., Zulfa, A. *, Hardus, M. Wich, S.A., Dominy, N.J, and Taylor, A.B. 2014. Food mechanical properties, feeding ecology, and the mandibular morphology of wild orangutans. Journal of Human Evolution. 75: 110-124.

Chalk, J. and Vogel, E.R. 2012. Insights into primate dietary ecology: methods and theory. International Journal of Primatology. 33(3): 515-519.

Vogel, E.R., Knott, C.D., Crowley, B.E. , Blakely, M.D. , Larsen, M., Dominy, N.J. 2012. Bornean orangutans on the brink of protein bankruptcy. Biology Letters. 8(3): 333-336.

Vogel, E.R., Crowley, B.E. , Knott, C.D., Blakely, M.D. , Larsen, M., Dominy, N.J. 2012. A method for measuring nitrogen balance in free ranging primates. International Journal of Primatology. 33(3): 567-587.

Lucas, P.W., Constantino, P.J., Vogel, E.R., Chalk, J., Talebi, M., Wagner, M. 2012. Measuring the toughness of primate foods and its ecological value. International Journal of Primatology. 33(3): 598-610.

Vogel, E. R., Crowley, B. E., Knott, C. D., Blakely, M. D., Larsen, M., Dominy, N. J. A method for measuring nitrogen balance in free ranging primates. In press. International Journal of Primatology

Lucas, P.W., Constantino, P.J., Vogel, E.R., Chalk, J., Talebi, M., Wagner, M. Measuring the toughness of primate foods and its ecological value. In press. International Journal of Primatology.

Crowley, B. E.,Thorén, S., Rasoazanabary, E., Vogel, E.R., Barrett, M.A., Zohdy, S., Blanco, M.B., McGoogan, K.C., Arrigo-Nelson, S.J., Irwin, M.T., Wright, P.C., Radespiel, U., Godfrey, L.R., Koch, P.L., and Dominy, N.J.In press.Geographic isotopic variation in mouse lemur (Microcebus) populations. Journal of Biogeography.

Wich, S., Vogel, E., Larsen, M. Frederiksson, G. Leighton , M., Yeager, C., Brearley, F., van Schaik, C., Marshall, A. 2011. Forest fruit production is higher on Sumatra than on Borneo. PLoS ONE. 6(6): e21278.

Vogel, E. R., Janson, C.H. 2011. Quantifying primate food abundance and distribution for socioecological studies: An objective consumer-centered method. International Journal of Primatology.32: 737-752.

Bastian, M.L.,Zweifel, N., Vogel, E.R., Wich, S.A., van Schaik, C.P. 2010. Diet traditions in wild orangutans. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 143(2): 175-187.

Ganzhorn, J.U., Arrigo-Nelson, S., Boinski, S., Bollen, A., Carrai, V., Derby, A., Donati, G., Koenig, A., Kowalewski, M., Lahann, P., Norscia, I., Polowinsky, S. Y., Schwitzer, C., Stevenson, P.R., Talebi, M.G., Tan, C., Vogel, E. R., Wright, P.C. 2009. Possible fruit protein effects on primate communities in Madagascar and the Neotropics. PLoS ONE. 4(12): e8253.

Vogel, E. R., Haag, L., Mitra-Setia, T., van Schaik, C. P. and Dominy, N. J. 2009. Foraging and ranging behavior during a fallback episode: Hylobatesalbibarbis and Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii compared. American Journal of Physical Anthropology.140:716–726.

Ross, C. F., Washington, R.L., Eckhardt, A., Reed, D. A., Vogel, E.R., Dominy, N .J., Machanda, Z. P. 2009. Ecological consequences of scaling of chew cycle duration and daily feeding time in Primates. Journal of Human Evolution 56:570-585.

Stamatopoulos, G., Sengupta, A. Vogel, E. R., and C. H. Janson. 2009. A game-theoretic model of within-group coalition formation in non-human primates. Journal of Bioeconomics11(2):165-183.

Harrison, M.E., Vogel, E.R., Morrogh-Bernard, H.C., van Noordwijk, M.A. 2009. Methods for calculating dietary composition compared: A case study using orangutans. American Journal of Primatology71:353–358.

Dominy, N.J., Vogel, E.R., Yeakel, J.D., Constantino, P., Lucas, P.W. 2008. The mechanical properties of plant underground storage organs and implications for the adaptive radiation and resource partitioning of early hominins. Evolutionary Biology 35(3): 157-175.

Taylor, A.B., Vogel,E.R., Dominy, N.J. 2008. Masticatory biomechanics and food mechanical properties in large-bodied hominoids.Journal of Human Evolution.55(4): 604-616.

Vogel E.R., van Woerden J.T., Lucas, P.W., UtamiAtmoko, S.S., van Schaik C.P, &Dominy N.J. 2008. Functional ecology and evolution of hominoid molar enamel: Pan troglodytesschweinfurthii and Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii.Journal of Human Evolution 55(1): 60-74.

Vogel, E.R., Neitz, M., and Dominy, N.J. 2007.Effect of color vision phenotype on fruit and energy intake rates of wild white-faced capuchins, Cebus capucinus.Behavioral Ecology.18(2): 292-297.

Vogel, E.R., Munch, S.B., &Janson, C.H. 2007. Understanding escalated aggression over food resources in white-faced capuchin moneys.Animal Behaviour 74:71-80.

Vogel, E.R. and Janson 2007. Predicting the frequency of food related agonism in white-faced capuchin monkeys (Cebus capucinus), Using a novel focal tree method. American Journal of Primatology 69(5):533-550.

Vogel, E.R. 2006. The Complete Capuchin: the Biology of the Genus Cebus, A Review (book review). Quarterly Review of Biology 81(4): 406-407.

Vogel, E.R. and Fuentes-Jiménez A. 2006. Rescue behavior in white-faced capuchin monkeys during an intergroup attack: support for the Infanticide Avoidance Hypothesis. American Journal of Primatology 68: 1012-1016.

Talebi, M.G., Pope, T.R., Vogel E.R., Neitz, M, and N.J. Dominy. 2006. Polymorphism of visual pigment genes in the muriqui (Primates, Atelidae). Molecular Ecology 15(2): 551- 558.

Vogel, E.R. 2005. Rank differences in energy intake rates in white-faced capuchin monkeys (Cebus capucinus): the effects of contest competition. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 58: 333-344.

van Schaik, C.P., Pandit, S.A., Vogel, E.R. 2004. A model for within-group coalitionary aggression among males. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 57:101-109.

Rose, L.M., Perry, S., Panger, M., Jack, K., Manson, J., Gros-Louis, J., MacKinnon, K., and Vogel, E. 2003. Interspecific interactions between white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus) and other species: Preliminary Data from three Costa Rican sites. International Journal of Primatology 24(4):759-796.

Panger, M., Perry, S., Rose, L.M, Gros-Louis, J., Vogel E., MacKinnon, K., Baker, M. 2002. Cross-site differences in foraging behavioral of white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus). American Journal of Physical Anthropology 119:52-66.

Wilson, W.H. and Vogel, E.R. 1997. The foraging behavior of Semipalmated Sandpipers in the Upper Bay of Fundy: Stereotyped or prey sensitive? Condor 99:206-210.

Book Chapters

Vogel, E.R. andDominy, N.J. 2010. Measuringecologicalvaraiablesforprimate field studies. In Campbell, C.J., Fuentes, A., MacKinnon, K.C., Panger, M., Bearder, S.K. (eds). Primates in Perspective, 2nd Edition.Oxford University Press. Pp. 367-377.

van Schaik, C.P, van Noordwijk, M.A. Vogel, E.R. 2009. Ecological sex differences in wild orangutans. Wich, S.A., UtamiAtmoko, S., MitraSetia, T., van Schaik, C.P. (eds). Orangutans: Geographic Variation in in Behavioral Ecology and Conservation. Oxford University Press.pp. 256-268.

Janson, C.H. and Vogel, E.R. 2006. Estimating the effects of hunger on primate social ecology. InHohmann, G., Robbins, M., and Boesch, C. (eds).Feeding Ecology in Apes and Other Primates. Cambridge University Press.pp. 285-312.

van Schaik, C.P., Pandit, S.A., Vogel, E.R. 2006. Toward a general model for male-male coalitions in primate groups. In Kappeler, P.M. & van Schaik (eds) Cooperation in primates: comparative perspectives. Springer Verlag: Heidelberg. pp 151-171.