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Charles Snowdon

Hilldale Professor of Psychology Emeritus

College of Letters & Science l Department of Psychology

Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Dr. Charles Snowdon has studied behavior of non-human primates in captivity and the wild for more than 35 years and has pioneered non-invasive ways to study animals. More recently he has been studying human relationships and mate choice decisions. Prof. Snowdon has expertise in primate cognition, communication, social behavior, development of behavior, parental care and hormonal correlates of behavior. He has also been very involved in helping undergraduates reach their full potential through directing the Honors program and supervising many dozens of students in research projects. Charles Snowdon arrived on the UW–Madison campus in 1969 and spent his entire career at the university.

Talks:

  • A talk on the origin of human cooperation.

    Approximate Length of Talk: 20 minutes to 1 hour

  • A talk on how music evolved from emotional signals in other animals.

    Approximate Length of Talk: 20 minutes to 1 hour

  • A talk discussion the use of monogamous monkeys as a model for how we can maintain monogamy.

    Approximate Length of Talk: 20 minutes to 1 hour

  • Dr. Snowdon’s thinking about human fatherhood has been influenced by his work with marmosets and tamarins, small primates where fathers and older brothers are spontaneously involved in infant care. These animals have shown him that fathers play an important role in the development and well-being of infants, but that fatherhood is also costly and risky. Thus fathers must have a strong relationship with their partners. He will talk about hormonal changes in fathers during pregnancy and after infants are born that have striking parallels to changes in females during pregnancy and childcare. Fathers have to learn to be good parents mothers must allow fathers to interact with infants. All of these findings have direct relevance to helping men become better fathers.

    Approximate Length of Talk: 20 minutes to 1 hour

  • A talk on the invisible communication system that influences social behavior.

    Approximate Length of Talk: 20 minutes to 1 hour

  • A talk on why multiple caregivers are important for children based on research with cooperative breeding monkeys.

    Approximate Length of Talk: 20 minutes to 1 hour

  • A talk on comparing human and nonhuman primate cognitive skills.

    Approximate Length of Talk: 20 minutes to 1 hour

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