Apes in the Anthropocene: flexibility and survival

Kimberley J. Hockings, Matthew R. McLennan, Susana Carvalho, Marc Ancrenaz, René Bobe, R.W. Byrne, Robin I.M. Dunbar, Tetsuro Matsuzawa, William C. McGrew, Elizabeth A. Williamson, Michael L. Wilson, Bernard Wood, Richard W. Wrangham, Catherine M. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Citations (Scopus)


We are in a new epoch, the Anthropocene, and research into our closest living relatives, the great apes, must keep pace with the rate that our species is driving change. While a goal of many studies is to understand how great apes behave in natural contexts, the impact of human activities must increasingly be taken into account. This is both a challenge and an opportunity, which can importantly inform research in three diverse fields: cognition, human evolution, and conservation. No long-term great ape research site is wholly unaffected by human influence, but research at those that are especially affected by human activity is particularly important for ensuring that our great ape kin survive the Anthropocene.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-222
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number4
Early online date9 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015


  • Great apes
  • Anthropogenic disturbance
  • Behavioural flexibility
  • Ape cognition
  • Hominin coexistence
  • Human–wildlife interaction


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