As a part of The University of Nebraska at Omaha, under the departments of Psychology and Biology, the Callitrichid Research Center conducts research in hormones and social behavior in marmosets of the genus Callithrix. The Callitrichid Research Center has contributed to this area of research since 1983.
We are interested in the impact of neuroendocrine systems on complex social interactions including affiliation, aggression, altruism, and cooperation.
The CRC is currently home to over 50 marmosets from three different species. We also actively participate with the American Society of Primatologists, an organization that aims to understand, conserve, and inform about nonhuman primates.
Marmosets form long-term pair-bonds that are similar to human romantic relationships with high affiliation, grooming, social support and cosleeping. Our lab has shown that these male-female relationships are closely modulated by the hormone oxytocin. Photo credit: Tina Gunhold-de Oliveira / www.wolfscience.at
Welcome to the Callitrichid Research Center at the University of Nebraska Omaha.
Our primary model system is the marmoset monkey (Callithrix spp.), which is a socially monogamous, family living, biparental New World primate. Our current research elucidates how neuroendocrine systems modulate complex social interactions such as parental behavior and offspring development and the maintenance of long-term pair bonds between males and females. Our research further highlights how these neuroendocrine systems influence a full range of social behavior including affiliation, aggression, altruism, cooperation, and responses during psychosocial stressors. Moreover, we are interested in the evolution of these social systems from a molecular perspective. For instance, we have identified that New World monkeys possess multiple variants of oxytocin that have co-evolved with corresponding oxytocin receptors. We are particularly interested in exploring potential evolutionary relationships between these OXT/OXTR and AVP/AVPR1a systems in New-World primates and important social phenotypes such as biparental care, social monogamy, and prosociality. To learn more, visit our research or view our recent publications.
The CRC has a long standing of grant support from NIH and NSF, and the CRC has an active group of graduate and undergraduate students with a wide variety of research interests. Learn more about what our students are up to, or let us know if you are interested in getting involved in our research.
The CRC was founded by Dr. Jeffrey French in 1983, and has since made significant contributions to the fields of behavioral neuroendocrinology and primatology conservation. The CRC is currently home to nearly 60 marmoset monkeys (C. jacchus; C. penicillata; C. geoffroyi), and the French Lab is also home to a fully serviced Endocrine Assay Laboratory which analyzes biological samples for hormones from a wide range of species from fishes to bipedal primates.