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Brogan Stewart

PhD Student

Junior Associate

Loyola Sustainability Research Centre

Free ranging and wild animals sometimes experience challenges of physical wellbeing and optimal movement ability, but assessing if they are stressed in these situations can prove difficult. Brogan’s research will be focusing on a population of Japanese macaques on Awaji Island, Japan that are born with very high incidences of limb malformations that cause physical impairment. This circumstance provides a rare opportunity to observe behavioral responses to disabilities. However, fully understanding and quantifying the costs of these disabilities remains a challenge. Fractal Analysis is a non-invasive method for quantifying subtle variations in the complexity of movement behavior patterns and sequences. Using Fractal Analysis, Brogan plans to test the hypothesis that impairment caused by congenital limb malformations will alter the complexity of movement behaviors for disabled monkeys under free-ranging conditions. Studying behaviour in the context of disability can highlight the selective pressures that individuals face and reveal adaptations for behavioural flexibility and environmental tolerances. Brogan is working in the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment at Concordia University under the supervision of Dr. Sarah Turner.

The title of Brogan's thesis project is Using fractal analysis to determine if physical impairment in Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) alters behavioural movement complexity.

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