Alice C. Poirier

PhD researcher

Faculty:Faculty of Science & Technology

Department:Biology

Location: Cambridge

alice.poirier@pgr.anglia.ac.uk

Research interests

Thesis title

Making sense of scents: primate scent-marking behaviour and semiochemistry.

Supervisory team

Dr Andrew Smith
Prof John Waterhouse
Dr Jacob Dunn

Research group

Alice is a member of our Behavioural Ecology Research Group.

Summary of research

Olfactory communication is an important mediator of social interactions in mammals, providing con- and heterospecifics with information on identity (e.g. species, sex, group, and individual) and current status (e.g. social, reproductive, and health).

The present study combines both chemical and behavioural data on captive and wild callitrichines (marmosets and tamarins, New World primates), in an attempt to decipher some of the environmental, social, and individual aspects of primate chemical communication. Moreover, the study is aimed at developing headspace Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) techniques for the analysis of primate semiochemicals, in an effort to contribute to innovative knowledge in the field.

Selected recent publications

Poirier, A.C., Waterhouse, J.S., Watsa, M., Erkenswick, G.A., Melin, A.D., Dunn, J.C., and Smith, A.C., 2018. Sniffing out primate scent signals: the first field analysis of callitrichine scents by portable GCMS. Primate Society of Great Britain Spring Meeting, Portsmouth, UK.

Poirier, A.C., Waterhouse, J.S., Watsa, M., Erkenswick, G.A., Melin, A.D., and Smith, A.C., 2017. Making Sense of Scents: Deciphering Primate Olfactory Communication. XIV Chemical Signals in Vertebrates Group Meeting, Cardiff, UK.

Poirier, A.C., Waterhouse, J.S., Smith, A.C., 2017. Making Sense of Scents: Deciphering Primate Olfactory Communication. Faculty of Science and Technology 7th Annual Research Conference, Cambridge.

Watsa, M., Erkenswick, G., Halloran, D., Kane, E.K., Poirier, A., Klonoski, K., Cassalett, S., Maciag, E., Mangalea, M.R., Dinsmore, M.P., MsCready, H., Boughan, B.K., Parker, C., Hickmott, A., Nole Bazan, I.E. and Zuniga, A., 2015. A Field Protocol for the Capture and Release of Callitrichids. Neotropical Primates, 22(2), pp.59–68.

Recent presentations and conferences

Primate Society of Great Britain Spring Meeting (2018), Portsmouth, UK.

XIV Chemical Signals in Vertebrates Group Meeting (2017), Cardiff, UK.

Faculty of Science and Technology 7th Annual Research Conference (2017), Chemsford, UK.

Faculty of Science and Technology 6th Annual Research Conference (2016), Chemsford, UK.

I Simposio de Primatología en el Perú (2011), Lima, Peru.