Caroline's research interests lie in the areas of animal behavior (ethology), behavioral biology, cognitive ecology, and comparative psychology. Her main areas of study include tool use, manual function, and cognition in non-human primates. She frequently collaborates with other researchers and labs to answer milti-disciplinary and integrative questions. Recently, she has been working with Dr. Laurie Reitsema (Director, Bioarchaeology and Biochemistry Laboratory, UGA Department of Anthropology) on stable isotope analyses, Dr. Roberta Salmi (Director, Primate Behavioral Ecology Laboratory, UGA Department of Anthropology) on vocal analysis and behavior of gorillas, and Dr. Allison Howard (UGA Department os Psychology).
Zoo/science education, outreach, and research has also been a passion of Caroline's since she was an undergraduate student. During her time at UGA, she has developed a working relationship with staff at Zoo Atlanta in Atlanta, GA. She collaborates with keepers to conduct research investigating tool use in western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla), and with educators and researchers to explore methods of science communication, teaching, and learning.
Although her primary interest is research, Caroline is devoted to public education and outreach, which is especially reinforced by her zoo experiences. As a complimentary certification to her doctoral degree, Caroline is also working on a Graduate Portfolio in Community Enagagement, a professional development program through the UGA Office of Service Learning.
In addition to her research as a graduate student, Caroline enjoys mentoring undergraduate students as Undergraduate Research Assistants (URAs) in her affiliated lab. She currently advises four URAs at UGA, and three past URAs still in the Athens/Atlanta area:
Mackenzie Pryor (UGA Class of 2018, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources): Mackenzie joined the Primate Behavior and Cognition Lab in Fall 2016 and has taken independent studies with Dr. Fragaszy in addition to her responsibilities as a URA. She plans to pursue a graduate degree in primatology.
Brendan Harris (UGA Class of 2018, Department of Psychology): Brendan joined the Primate Behavior and Cognition Lab in Fall 2017. A driven individual, he is also a member of the Primate Behavior Ecology Lab (UGA Anthropology), and interns at Yerkes Primate Center. He plans to pursue a graduate degreee in primatology.
- Namita Money (UGA Class of 2018, Odum School of Ecology): Namita joined the Primate Behavior and Cognition Lab in Spring 2017 and is an active advocate for animals rights and environmental education. She runs several campus organizations devoted to these philanthropic ideals.
- Summer Fink (UGA Class of 2019, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources): Summer joined the Primate Behavior and Cognition Lab in Fall 2017. She hopes to work with big cats in her career after college.
Courtney Meyer (UGA Class of 2017): A graduate of the Primate Cognition and Behavior Lab, Courtney is now a primate keeper at Zoo Atlanta, and continues to help with ongoing Primate Lab projects!
- Jessica Respress (UGA Class of 2017): A graduate of the Primate Cognition and Behavior Lab, Jessica is now a master's student at Georgia State in Atlanta studying Microbiology. She devotes several hours a week to data collection at Zoo Atlanta!
- Sreinick (Nikki) Keo (UGA Class of 2017): A graduate of the Primate Cognition and Behavior Lab, Nikki devotes several hours a week to data collection at Zoo Atlanta! She plans to pursue a graduate degree in neuroscience.
Caroline is a fifth year graduate student pursuing her Ph.D. in comparative psychology under the direction of Dr. Dorothy Fragaszy in the UGA Primate Cognition and Behavior Laboratory.