Dr Giuseppe Donati

Reader in Primatology/Biological Anthropology

Giuseppe Donati is a Reader in Primatology. Over the last twenty years Giuseppe has conducted research on behaviour, ecology, and conservation of lemurs and New World monkeys, and produced numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals or books. He initially focussed his research on the unique evolutionary traits of the lemur radiation, and especially their capacity to be active both during the day and at night. Through this work he made a contribution to the understanding of the cost-benefit involved in the transition from the nocturnal to the diurnal life-style during the evolution of primates. Giuseppe’s more recent research addresses a priority area in conservation research, i.e. investigating how primates tolerate habitat change. This work culminated in his involvement in the designing of the Lemur Conservation Action Plan and a leading role on lemur research and conservation in the region of Fort Dauphin (South-eastern Madagascar). 

Teaching

Undergraduate:

  • Module leader: Humans and Other Primates
  • Module leader: Primate Societies
  • Contributor to: Introduction to Biological Anthropology
  • Contributor to: Applied Anthropology

Postgraduate:

  • Module Leader: MSc in Primate Conservation- Research Method

Areas of interest

  • Primate behavioural ecology: ecological determinants and evolution of activity patterns; feeding strategies; nutritional ecology; behavioural thermoregulation.
  • Tropical ecology: seed dispersal; tree phenology and resource availability in tropical forests; parasite-host interactions.
  • Primate Conservation: relocations; response to habitat degradation and fragmentation.

Research students

  • Michela Balestri:  Niche overlap between the Andohahela sportive lemur (Lepilemur fleuretae) and the southern woolly lemur (Avahi meridionalis) in the lowland rainforest of Tsitongambarika, South-Eastern Madagascar
  • Marco Campera: Behavioural and ecological flexibility of collared brown lemurs, Eulemur collaris, in the lowland rainforests of Tsitongambarika, South-Eastern Madagascar
  • Elena Racevska: Lemurs as protectors of the forest: Lemur seed dispersal, forest regeneration and local livelihoods in the littoral forest fragments of Madagascar
  • Sam H. Roberts: An investigation into the fragmentation origin of the littoral forests of the southeast of Madagascar: Using the genetic diversification of the genus Microcebus to reconstruct the environmental history of the littoral forests
  • Rachel M. Sawyer: Bridging the gap between primate food selection and sensory ecology: Exploring the ways in which nocturnal folivorous strepsirrhines determine food quality

Current positions

  • Reader in Primatology and Biological Anthropology, Nocturnal Primate Research Group, Department of Social Sciences, Oxford Brookes University
  • Subject Coordinator for the Programme of Anthropology, Department of Social Sciences, Oxford Brookes University
  • Member of the IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group

Education

  • Oxford Brookes University: Post-graduate Certificate for Teaching in Higher Education
  • University of Florence: PhD in Physical Anthropology “Activity pattern and its ecological correlates in the collared lemur, Eulemur collaris
  • University of Florence: Postgraduate specialisation “Conservation and Management of the Fauna in Protected Areas” 
  • University of Pisa: MSc in Biological Sciences “Activity pattern of the red-fronted brown lemur, Eulemur fulvus rufus 

Publications

  • Journal articles

Journal articles

Eppley, T. M., Donati, G., & Ganzhorn, J. U. (2016). Determinants of terrestrial feeding in an arboreal primate: the case of the southern bamboo lemur (Hapalemur meridionalis). American Journal of Physical Anthropology, DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.23034.

Ganzhorn, J. U., ArrigoNelson, S. J., Carrai, V., Chalise, M. K., Donati, G., Droescher, I., Eppley, T.M, Irwin, M.T., Koch, F., Koenig, A., Kowalewski, M.M., Mowry, C.B., Patel, E.L., Pichon, C., Ralison, J., Reisdorff, C., Simmen, B., Stalenberg, E., Starrs, D., Terboven, J., Wright, P.C., Foley, W.J. (2016). The importance of protein in leaf selection of folivorous primates. American Journal of Primatology, DOI: 10.1002/ajp.22550

Sawyer, R.M., Fenosoa, Z.S.E., Andrianarimisa, A., Donati, G. (2016). The effect of habitat disturbance on the abundance of nocturnal lemur species on the Masoala Peninsula, northeastern Madagascar. Primates, DOI: 10.1007/s10329-016-0552-0.

Donati, G., Campera, M., Balestri, M., Serra, V., Barresi, M., Schwitzer, C., Curtis, D. J., Santini, L. (2016). Ecological and Anthropogenic Correlates of Activity Patterns in Eulemur. International Journal of Primatology, 37(1): 29-46.

Eppley, T. M., Donati, G., & Ganzhorn, J. U. (2016). Unusual sleeping site selection by southern bamboo lemurs. Primates, 57(2), 167-173.

Eppley, T. M., Donati, G., & Ganzhorn, J. U. (2016). Possible asynchronous parturition in a multifetal strepsirrhine: Hapalemur meridionalis. Anim. Reprod, 13(1): 50-54.

Eppley, T. M., Ganzhorn, J. U., & Donati, G. (2016). Latrine behaviour as a multimodal communicatory signal station in wild lemurs: the case of Hapalemur meridionalis. Animal Behaviour, 111: 57-67.

Marsh, C., Link, A., King-Bailey, G., & Donati, G. (2016). Effects of Fragment and Vegetation Structure on the Population Abundance of Ateles hybridus, Alouatta seniculus and Cebus albifrons in Magdalena Valley, Colombia. Folia Primatologica, 87(1): 17-30.

Nekaris, K. A. I., Musing, L., Vazquez, A. G., & Donati, G. (2016). Is tickling torture? Assessing welfare towards slow lorises (Nycticebus spp.) within Web 2.0 videos. Folia Primatologica, 86(6): 534-551.

Sato, H., Santini, L., Patel, E.R., Campera, M., Yamashita, N., Colquhoun, I. C., Donati, G. (2016). Dietary flexibility and feeding strategy of Eulemur: a comparison with Propithecus. International Journal of Primatology, 37(1): 109-129.

Andriamandimbiarisoa, L., Blanthorn, T.S., Ernest, R., Ramanamanjato, J. B., Randriatafika, F., Ganzhorn, J. U., Donati, G. (2015). Habitat corridor utilization by the gray mouse lemur, Microcebus murinus, in the littoral forest fragments of southeastern Madagascar. Madagascar Conservation & Development 10 (3): 144-150

Balestri, M., Campera, M., Serra, V., Barresi, M., Ramanamanjato, J. B., Donati, G. (2015). Possible role of secondary compounds in determining feeding choices of collared brown lemur females (Eulemur collaris): avoidance, self-medication or just availability? Lemur News, 18: 24-27

Cervera, L., Lizcano, D.J., Tirira, D.G., Donati, G. (2015). Surveying Two Endangered Primate Species (Alouatta palliata aequatorialis and Cebus aequatorialis) in the Pacoche Marine and Coastal Wildlife Refuge, West Ecuador. International Journal of Primatology, 36: 933-947

Eppley, T. M., Ganzhorn, J. U., Donati, G. (2015). Cathemerality in a small, folivorous primate: proximate control of diel activity in Hapalemur meridionalis. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 69(6): 991-1002.

Eppley, T. M., Hall, K., Donati, G., & Ganzhorn, J. U. (2015). An unusual case of affiliative association of a female Lemur catta in a Hapalemur meridionalis social group. Behaviour, 152 (7-8): 1041-1061.

Eppley, T. M., Donati, G., Ramanamanjato, J. B., Randriatafika, F., Andriamandimbiarisoa, L. N., Rabehevitra, D., Ravelomanantsoa, R., Ganzhorn, J. U. (2015). The use of an invasive species habitat by a small folivorous primate: implications for lemur conservation in Madagascar. PloS one, 10(11), e0140981.

Occhibove, F., Ferro, C., Campera, M., Liponi, G.M., Borgognini-Tarli, S.M., Ganzhorn, J.U., Donati, G. (2015) Living in Islands of Forests: Nutritional Ecology of the Howler Monkey (Alouatta palliata) at La Suerte Biological Field Station, North-Eastern Costa Rica. In: Falk Huettman (ed.) “Central American Biodiversity”. Springer, New York, pp: 525-538

Santini, L., Rojas, D., Donati, G. (2015). Evolving through day and night: origin and diversification of activity pattern in modern primates. Behavioral Ecology, arv012

Balestri, M., Barresi, M., Campera, M., Serra, V., Ramanamanjato, J. B., Heistermann, M., & Donati, G. (2014). Habitat Degradation and Seasonality Affect Physiological Stress Levels of Eulemur collaris in Littoral Forest Fragments. PLoS One 9, e107698.

Balestri, M., Campera, M., Serra, V., Barresi, M., Ramanamanjato, J.B., Donati, G. (2014). Possible role of secondary compounds in determining feeding choices of collared brown lemur females (Eulemur collaris): avoidance, self-medication or just availability? Lemur News, 18:24-27.

Campera, M., Serra, V., Balestri, M., Barresi, M., Ravaolahy, M., Randriatafika, F., & Donati, G. (2014). Effects of Habitat Quality and Seasonality on Ranging Patterns of Collared Brown Lemur (Eulemur collaris) in Littoral Forest Fragments. International Journal of Primatology 35, 957-975.

Eppley T.M., Donati G., Ganzhorn J.U (2014). Association of a giant coua and southern bamboo lemurs in Mandena. Lemur News, 18:4-5.

Khimji S.N., Donati G. (2014). Are rainforest owl monkeys cathemeral? Diurnal activity of black-headedmonkeys, Aotus nigriceps, at Manu Biosphere Reserve, Peru. Primates, 55: 19-24. 

Lazdane K., Broll A., Theisinger O., Bearder S., Donati G. (2014). Gastrointestinal parasite infections of collared lemurs (Eulemur collaris) and environmental conditions in the littoral forest fragments. Italian Journal of Zoology, 1-7. 

Schwitzer, C., Chikhi, L., Donati, G., Irwin, M., Johnson, S. E., Mittermeier, R. A., Peacock H., Ratsimbazafy J., Razafindramanana J., Louis E.E. Jr., Colquhoun I.C., Tinsman J., Dolch R., LaFleur M., Nash S., Patel E., Randrianambinina B., Rasolofoharivelo T.,& Wright, P. C. (2014). Protecting lemurs-response. Science, 344(6182): 358.

Schwitzer C., Mittermeier R.A., Johnson S.E., Donati G., Irwin M., Peacock H., Ratsimbazafy J., Razafindramanana J., Louis E.E. Jr., Chikhi L., Colquhoun I.C., Tinsman J., Dolch R., LaFleur M., Nash S., Patel E., Randrianambinina B., Rasolofoharivelo T., Wright P.C. (2014). Averting Lemur Extinctions amid Madagascar’s Political Crisis. Science, 343(6173): 842-843.

Curtis D.J. and Donati G. (2013). The role of photoperiod in the evolution of temporal plasticity in lemurs. In: Masters J., Gamba M., and Genin F. (eds.) “Leaping Ahead: Advances in Prosimian Biology”. Springer, New York, pp. 41-50.

Donati G., Santini L., Razafindramanana J., Boitani L., Borgognini S.M. (2013). (Un-)expected nocturnal activity in "diurnal" Lemur catta supports cathemerality as one of the key adaptations of the lemurid radiation.American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 150(1):99-106.

Malone M., Ramanamanjato J.B., Randriatafika F., Donati G. (2013). Habitat structure and grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus) abundance in the transitional littoral forest ofPetriky, South-East Madagascar. Lemur News, 17: 22-26.

Nekaris K.A.I., Jaffe S., Donati G. (2013).Forest Fragmentation Imperils Red Slender Lorises (Loris tardigradus tardigradus) in South-Western Sri Lanka. In Masters J., Gamba M., and Genin F. (eds.) “Leaping Ahead: Advances in Prosimian Biology”. Springer, New York, pp. 89-96.

Nguyen T., Eppley T.M., Donati G. (2013). Rapid assessment of lemur abundance in the lowland rainforest of Ampasy, Tsitongambarika, south-east Madagascar. Lemur News, 17: 39-42.

DonatiG., KeschK., NdremifidyK., SchmidtS.L., RamanamanjatoJ.B., BorgogniniS.M., GanzhornJ.U. (2011). Better few than hungry: flexible feeding ecology of collared lemurs Eulemur collaris in littoral forest fragments. PLoS One 6(5): e19807. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0019807.

Donati G., Ricci E., Baldi N., Morelli V., Borgognini Tarli S.M. (2011). Behavioural thermoregulation in gregarious lemurs: effects of climatic and dietary related factors. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 144(3):355-364.

Eppley T.M. and Donati G. (2011).Observations of terrestrial latrine behaviour by Hapalemur meridionalis in the Mandena littoral forest, southeast Madagascar. Lemur News, 15: 51-54.

Eppley T.M., Verjans E., Donati G. (2011).Coping with low quality diets: a first account of the feeding ecology of the southern gentle lemur, Hapalemur meridionalis, in the Mandena littoral forest, southeast Madagascar. Primates, 52:7-13.

Nijman V., Nekaris K.A.I., Donati G., Bruford M., Fa J., Dixon A. (2011). Primate conservation: measuring and mitigating trade in primates. Endangered Species Research, 13:159-161.

Eppley T.M. and Donati G. (2010).Grazing lemurs: exhibition of terrestrial feeding by the southern gentle lemur, Hapalemur meridionalis, in the Mandena littoral forest, southeast Madagascar. Lemur News, 14:16-19.

Stephenson I.R., Bearder S.K., Donati G., Karlsson J. (2010). A Guide to Galago Diversity: Getting a Grip on How Best to Chew Gum.  In Burrows A.M. and Nash L.T. (eds.) “The Evolution of Exudativory in Primates”. Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects. Springer, New York, Dordrecht, Heidelberg, London, pp. 235-255.

Donati G., Baldi N., Morelli V., Ganzhorn J.U., Borgognini Tarli S.M. (2009). Proximate cues and ultimate determinants of brown lemur cathemerality. Animal Behaviour, 77:317-325.

Ganzhorn J.U., Arrigo-Nelson S., Bollen A., Carrai V., Chalise M.K., Derby A., Donati G., Koenig A., Kowalewski M., Norscia I., Polowinsky S.Y., Schwitzer C., Stevenson P.R., Talebi M.G., Tan C., Vogel E.R., Wright P.C. (2009). Possible Fruit Protein Effects on Primate Communities in Madagascar and the Neotropics. PLoS One 4(12): e8253. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0008253.

Tofanelli S., Bertoncini S., Castrì L., Luiselli D., Calafell F., Donati G., Paoli G. (2009). On the origin and admixture of Malagasy: new evidence from high resolution analyses of paternal and maternal lineages and implications for admixture mapping. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 26(9):2109–2124.

Donati G., Bollen A, Borgognini Tarli S.M., Ganzhorn J.U. (2007). Feeding over the 24-hour cycle: dietary flexibility of cathemeral collared lemurs (Eulemur collaris). Behavioural Ecology & Sociobiology, 61:1237-1251.

Donati G., Ramanamanjato J.B., Ravoahangy A.M., Vincelette M. (2007). Traslocation as a conservation measure for a threatened species: the case of Eulemur collaris in the Mandena littoral forest, south-eastern Madagascar. In Ganzhorn J.U., Goodman S.M., Vincelette, M. (eds) “Biodiversity, Ecology and Conservation of the Littoral Ecosystems of South-eastern Madagascar”. Smithsonian Institution Press, pp. 237-246.

Ganzhorn J.U., AndrianasoloT., AndrianjazalahatraT., Donati G., FietzJ., NorsciaI., RakotondranaryJ., RakotondratsimaB.M., RalisonJ., RamarokotoR., RandriamangaS., RasarimananaS., Rakotosamimanana B., RamanamanjatoJ.B., RandriaG., RasolofohariveloT., Razanahoera-RakotomalalaM., SchmidJ., SommerS. (2007). Lemurs in evergreen littoral forest fragments of different size and degrees of degradation.  In Ganzhorn J.U., Goodman S.M., Vincelette M. (eds) “Biodiversity, Ecology and Conservation of the Littoral Ecosystems of South-eastern Madagascar”. Smithsonian Institution Press, pp. 223-236.

Bollen A. & Donati G. (2006). Conservation status of the littoral forest of south-eastern Madagascar: a review. Oryx, 40 (1): 57-66.

Donati G. & Borgognini Tarli S.M. (2006). The influence of abiotic factors on cathemerality: the case of Eulemur fulvus collaris in the littoral forest of Madagascar. Folia Primatologica, 77(1-2):104-122.

Donati G. & Borgognini Tarli S.M. (2006). From darkness to daylight: cathemeral activity in primates. Invited review for the Journal of Anthropological Sciences, 84:7-32.

Norscia I., Rahanitriniaina O.G., Jolly A., Donati G. (2006). Preliminary survey of lemur density in the semimontane rainforest of Anka, Fort-Dauphin region. Lemur News, 11:14-17.

Bollen A. & Donati G. (2005). Phenology of the littoral forest of Sainte Luce, south-eastern Madagascar. Biotropica, 37(1):32-43.

Bollen A., Donati G., Fietz J., Schwab D., Ramanamanjato J.B., Randrihasipara L., Van Elsacker L., Ganzhorn J.U. (2005). Fruit Characteristics in a Dry Deciduous and a Humid Littoral Forest of Madagascar: Evidence for Selection Pressure through Abiotic Constraints rather than Seed Dispersers. In Dew L., Boubli J.P. (eds.) “Tropical Fruits and Frugivores: The Search for Strong Interactors”. Springer, The Netherlands, pp. 92-118.

Fausser J.L., Prosper P., Donati G., Ramanamanjato J.B., Rumpler Y. (2002). Phylogenetic relationships between Hapalemur species and subspecies based on mitochondrial DNA sequences. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 2 (4):1-9.

Donati G., Lunardini A., Kappeler P.M., Borgognini Tarli S.M. (2001). Nocturnal activity in the cathemeral Red-Fronted Lemur, Eulemur fulvus rufus, with observation during a lunar eclipse. American Journal of Primatology, 53:69-78.

Donati G., Lunardini A., Kappeler P.M. (1999). Cathemeral activity of Red-fronted Brown Lemur (Eulemur fulvus rufus) in the Kirindy forest/CFPF. In Rakotosamimanana B., Rasamimanana H., Ganzhorn J., Goodman S. (eds.) “New Directions in Lemur Studies”. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Press, New York, pp. 119-137.