Allison Howard

Post-doctoral Researcher


My research interests lie at the interface between animal cognition and spatial ecology, particularly regarding how animals conceptualize the space through which they move and how they remember and return to important locations in their environment. I am interested in how landscape variables influence animal movement choices as well as how these variables shape the content of animal spatial memory.
My previous research has investigated the spatial efficiency of capuchin monkeys in a simulated foraging scenario in the laboratory, using laser pointer devices to indicate desired resources at a distance. For my dissertation research, I combined experimental and observational data on bearded capuchin monkey movements with spatial models of route choice based on theories of cognitive mapping in nonhuman primates.


  • Howard, A. M., Fragaszy, D. M. (2014). Multi-step Routes of Capuchin Monkeys in a Laser Pointer Traveling Salesman Task. American Journal of Primatology. doi: 10.1002/ajp.22271
  • Howard, A. M., Fragaszy, D. M. (2013). Applying the bicoded spatial model to nonhuman primates in an arboreal multilayer environment. Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 36(5): 552-553.
  • Howard, A. M., Bernardes, S., Nibbelink, N., Biondi, L., Presotto, A., Fragaszy, D.M. & Madden, M. (2012). A Maximum Entropy Model of the Bearded Capuchin Monkey Habitat in Northeastern Brazil Incorporating Topography and a Spectral Unmixing Analysis of Land Cover. ISPRS Annals of Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, 1-2: 7-11.

From the gallery

Bearded Capuchin Monkeys Adult Female and Adult Male Sandstone cliffs, northeastern Brazil Bearded Capuchin Monkeys Infants Playing Allison conducting behavioral observation  Digital Elevation Model Capuchin Habitat