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The Surprising Social Lives of Woodchucks!
November 23, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Woodchucks are considered the least social members of the marmot family, and we often think of them as solitary animals. You may be surprised to learn about their sometimes complex family dynamics!
Ironically, these solitary creatures can help us understand how animals became more social. Dr. Maher will discuss the effects of kinship and ecological conditions on the social lives of this common species, based on her long term study of a population in southern Maine. Join us for a look inside the lives and habits of these animals that delight some and vex the gardeners!
Dr. Chris Maher is Professor of Biology and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Science, Technology, and Health at the University of Southern Maine. She is a behavioral ecologist, and her primary research interests focus on variation in social organization within mammals. She also teaches courses in introductory biology, vertebrate zoology, and animal behavior. For the past 24 years, she has explored the effects of kinship on social behavior in woodchucks. When Chris is not teaching, doing fieldwork, or carrying out administrative duties, she’s probably running on the roads or trails around Portland.
Woodchuck Photo: John Berry