Before joining the faculty at Cal State Fullerton, I was a Research Scientist with the Pittsburgh Zoo. I have conducted conservation and research projects in several sub-Saharan African countries, including Kenya, Rwanda, and Ethiopia. I grew up in Williamsburg, VA and earned my Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Biology at the College of William and Mary. In 1999, I earned my Ph.D. in Anthropology from Columbia University, where I studied under Dr. Marina Cords, a leading expert in forest monkey behavior and ecology. Dr. Cords oversees one of the longest running field projects on forest monkeys in Africa, at Kakamega Forest, Kenya. For my Ph.D., I lived in a rustic cabin on the edge of the Kakamega Forest for a year and a half studying (a) the ecological determinants of feeding and ranging behavior in eastern black and white colobus monkeys (Colobus guereza) and (b) the strategies adopted by male and female colobus during encounters between groups. After earning my Ph.D., I completed a one-year postdoctoral fellowship with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). At WCS, I conducted a study of the costs and benefits of group life for another colobus monkey species (Angolan colobus or Colobus angolensis) that forms unusually large groups of over 300 members in Rwanda's Nyungwe Forest - one of the largest remaining montane rainforests in Africa. After completing my post-doc, I taught at Columbia University, Queens College, and Seton Hall University before becoming a Research Scientist with the Pittsburgh Zoo in 2002. During my six years at the Pittsburgh Zoo, I expanded my research program at Kakamega, Kenya and, in 2005, established a new research site at Guassa, Ethiopia, where with Dr. Nga Nguyen, I co-direct the Guassa Gelada Research Project, a longitudinal study of the behavioral ecology and conservation biology of the gelada monkey (Theropithecus gelada).
Currently, I am investigating the behavioral ecology and conservation biology of the rare and enigmatic gelada monkey (Theropithecus gelada) at a remote field site in northern Ethiopia called Guassa (for more information, visit the Guassa Gelada Research Project website).Guassa is an unusually ecologically pristine alpine grassland that has been conserved by one of the few surviving ancient indigenous conservation initiatives on the African continent. My current research at Guassa focuses on evaluating the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing techniques to better understand (a) the patterns of abundance and distribution of geladas over space and time and (b) the ecological factors that influence gelada ranging patterns. I am also investigating the key social and ecological variables that influence the outcome of aggressive encounters between gelada social units and the nature and extent of feeding competition within gelada units and how this competition shapes gelada social structure. I welcome student participation and collaboration on my research in primate behavioral ecology and conservation biology.
Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles
Fashing, P.J.,Nguyen, N., Luteshi, P., Opondo, W., Cash, J.F., and Cords, M. (2012). Evaluating the suitability of planted forests for African forest monkeys: A case study from Kakamega Forest, Kenya. American Journal of Primatology 74: 77-90. (PDF)
Laurance, W.F. et al. (many authors including Fashing, P.J.). (2012). Averting biodiversity collapse in tropical forest protected areas. Nature 489:290-294. (PDF) (Science Daily: Can nature parks save biodiversity?)
Mekonnen, A., Bekele, A., Fashing, P.J., Lernould, J.M., Atickem, A., and Stenseth, N.C. (2012). Newly discovered Bale monkey populations in forest fragments in southern Ethiopia: Evidence of crop raiding, hybridization with grivets, and other conservation threats. American Journal of Primatology 74: 423-432. (PDF)
Fashing, P.J. and Nguyen, N. (2011). Behavior towards the dying, diseased, and disabled among animals and its relevance to paleopathology. International Journal of Paleopathology 1: 127-128. (PDF)
Fashing, P.J., Nguyen, N., Barry, T.S., Goodale, C.B., Burke, R.J., Jones, S.C.Z., Kerby, J.T., Lee, L.M., Nurmi, N.O., Venkataraman, V.V. (2011). Death among geladas (Theropithecus gelada):A broader perspective on mummified infants and primate thanatology. American Journal of Primatology73: 405-409. (PDF) (New Scientist: Bereaved animals grieve – if their lifestyle allows it)
Fashing, P.J., Nguyen, N., and Fashing, N.J. (2010). Behavior of geladas and other endemic wildlife during a desert locust outbreak at Guassa, Ethiopia: Ecological and conservation implications. Primates 51: 193-197. (PDF) (CBC Quirks & Quarks: Monkeys munch on locust lunch)
Mekonnen, A., Bekele, A., Fashing, P.J., Hemson, G., and Atickem, A. (2010). Diet, activity patterns, and ranging ecology of the Bale monkey (Chlorocebus djamdjamensis) in Odobullu Forest, Ethiopia. International Journal of Primatology 31: 339-362. (PDF) (BBC Earth News)
Fashing, P.J. (in press). Colobus angolensis. In: N. Rowe (ed.). All the World's Primates. East Hampton, NY: Pogonias Press.
Fashing, P.J. (in press). Theropithecus gelada. In: N. Rowe (ed.). All the World's Primates. East Hampton, NY: Pogonias Press.
Fashing, P.J. (2011). African colobine monkeys: Their behavior, ecology, and conservation. In: C. Campbell, A. Fuentes, K. MacKinnon, S. Bearder, and R. Stumpf (eds.). Primates in Perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2nd edition, pp. 203-229.
Fashing, P.J. (2007). African colobine monkeys: Patterns of between-group interaction. In: C. Campbell, A. Fuentes, K. MacKinnon, M. Panger, and S. Bearder (eds.). Primates in Perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1st edition, pp. 201-224.
Fashing, P.J. (1999). The Behavioral Ecology of an African Colobine Monkey: Diet, Range Use, and Patterns of Intergroup Aggression in Eastern Black and White Colobus Monkeys (Colobus guereza). Columbia University: New York, NY. Supervised by Dr. Marina Cords.
Fashing, P. (2007). The modern zoo: Ensuring a future for wildlife and wild places. Zoo Explorer 11: 14-19.
Fashing, P.J. (2001). Egalitarianism and group selection in human evolution. Review of C. Boehm’s Hierarchy in the Forest: The Evolution of Egalitarian Behavior. Current Anthropology 42(5): 770-771. (PDF)
Office Department of Anthropology