Dr. Laura Bolt

Laura Bolt

Adjunct Professor Anthropology
Email:
laura.bolt@mail.utoronto.ca
Office Hours:
Check syllabus or Quercus for office hours

Background

Dr. Laura Bolt is a primatologist who holds degrees from the University of Cambridge (UK), University of Toronto, and Queen’s University (Canada). Her research interests include primate vocal communication, primate behavioural ecology, and forest fragmentation. Dr. Bolt’s research is of broad interest to the general public and has received international media attention, with coverage by news agencies including National Geographic, Reuters, the UK’s Daily Mail, Science Daily, Tech Explorist, and Mirage News.

As co-director of the La Suerte Forest Fragmentation and Primate Behavioural Ecology Project, Dr. Bolt’s current research focuses on mantled howler monkey (Alouatta palliata), white-faced capuchin monkey (Cebus capucinus imitator) and Central American spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) behavioural ecology in a fragmented tropical rainforest in Costa Rica. This research is important given the ongoing deforestation in Costa Rica and other tropical regions globally, with primates acting as important indicator species to signal habitat change.

Dr. Bolt’s published and ongoing work also focuses on vocalization usage in the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), a social primate endemic to Madagascar that is one of the best living models of group-living primate ancestors. Dr. Bolt’s work to date has demonstrated the complexity and sophistication of communication systems in social lemurs.

As an experienced university lecturer at institutions including the University of Waterloo, OCAD University, University of Toronto, and University of Toronto Mississauga, Dr. Bolt has been a finalist for numerous university-wide teaching awards and consistently receives outstanding teaching evaluations. She is also a member of the board of directors of, and regularly leads primate field schools for Maderas Rainforest Conservancy, a conservation non-profit organization that protects tropical forests in Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

Research opportunities

At UTM, Dr. Bolt provides the opportunity for interested students to complete a primate field school in Costa Rica or Nicaragua under her direction and to earn course credit for this experience. Dr. Bolt is also available to supervise undergraduate students through UTM’s Research Opportunities Program and to act as an advisor for independent research projects. Interested students should contact Dr. Bolt for more information.

Publications

Selected Publications

Bolt, Laura M., Russell, Dorian G., and Schreier, Amy L. 2022. River edge feeding: Howler monkey feeding ecology in a fragmented riparian forest. Folia Primatologica 00: 1-11.

Bolt, Laura M., and Schreier, Amy L. 2022. Student research collaboration as conservation education: A case study from the primate field school at Maderas Rainforest Conservancy. American Journal of Primatology e23414: 1-12.

Bolt, Laura M., Hadley, Colin M., and Schreier, Amy L. 2022. Crowded in a fragment: High population density of mantled howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata) in an anthropogenically-disturbed Costa Rican rainforest. Primate Conservation 36: 1-9.

Bolt, Laura M., Brandt, LaRoy S. E., Molina, Renee L., and Schreier, Amy L. 2022. Maderas Rainforest Conservancy: A One Health approach to conservation. American Journal of Primatology 84 e23293: 1-16.

Schreier, Amy L., Voss, Kristofor A., and Bolt, Laura M. 2022. A mathematical modelling approach to functionally defining forest edge and its utility for primate behavioural edge effects. International Journal of Primatology 43: 460-479.

Bolt, Laura M., Russell, Dorian G., and Schreier, Amy L. 2021. Anthropogenic edges impact howler monkey (Alouatta palliata) feeding behaviour in a Costa Rican rainforest. Primates 62: 647-657.

Bolt, Laura M., Cavanaugh, Maeve N., and Schreier, Amy L. 2021. Lone males: Solitary and group-living male howler monkey (Alouatta palliata) behavioral ecology in a Costa Rican rainforest. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 174: 201-212. *Editor’s Choice 

Bolt, Laura M. 2021. Agonistic vocalization behaviour in the male ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta). Primates 62: 417-430. 

Schreier, Amy L., Bolt, Laura M., Russell, Dorian G., Readyhough, Taylor S., Jacobson, Zachary S., Merrigan-Johnson, Carrie, and Coggeshall, Elizabeth M.C. 2021. Mantled howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata) in a Costa Rican forest fragment do not modify activity budgets or spatial cohesion in response to anthropogenic edges. Folia Primatologica 92: 49-57.

Kavanagh, Eithne, Street, Sally E., Angwela, Felix O., Bergman, Thore J., Blaszczyk, Maryjka B., Bolt, Laura M., Briseño-Jaramillo, Margarita, Brown, Michelle, Chen-Kraus, Chloe, Clay, Zanna, Coye, Camille, Emery Thompson, Melissa, Estrada, Alejandro, Fichtel, Claudia, Fruth, Barbara, Gamba, Marco, Giacomo, Cristina, Graham, Kirsty E., Green, Samantha, Grueter, Cyril, Gupta, Shreejata, Gustison, Morgan L., Hagberg, Lindsey, Hedwig, Daniela, Jack, Katharine M., Kappeler, Peter M., King-Bailey, Gillian, Kuběnová, Barbora, Lemasson, Alban, MacGregor Inglis, David, Machanda, Zarin, MacIntosh, Andrew, Majolo, Bonaventura, Marshall, Sophie, Micheletta, Jérôme, Mercier, Stephanie, Muller, Martin, Notman, Hugh, Ouattara, Karim, Ostner, Julia, Pavelka, Mary S. M., Peckre, Louise R., Petersdorf, Megan, Quintero, Fredy, Richard, Ramos-Fernández, Gabriel, Robbins, Martha M., Salmi, Roberta, Schamberg, Isaac, Schoof, Valérie A.M., Schülke, Oliver, Semple, Stuart, Silk, Joan B., Sosa-Lopéz, J. Roberto, Torti, Valeria, Valente, Daria, Ventura, Raffaella, van de Waal, Erica, Weyher, Anna H., Wilke, Claudia, Wrangham, Richard, Young, Christopher, Zanoli, Anna, Zuberbühler, Klaus, Lameira, Adriano, and Slocombe, Katie. 2021. Dominance style and vocal communication in non-human primates. Royal Society Open Science 8: 210873.

Bolt, Laura M. 2020. Affiliative contact calls during group travel: chirp and wail vocalization use in the male ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta). Folia Primatologica 91: 575-594.

Bolt, Laura M. 2020. “Haplorhini” in Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior, eds. Jennifer Vonk and Todd Shackelford, New York: Springer. DOI: 10.1007/9783-319-47829-6_124-1

Bolt, Laura M. 2020. “Primate Sensory Systems” in Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior, eds. Jennifer Vonk and Todd Shackelford, New York: Springer. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_1864-1

Bolt, Laura M., Schreier, Amy L., Voss, Kristofor A., Sheehan, Elizabeth A., and Barrickman, Nancy L. 2020. Down by the riverside: Riparian edge effects on three monkey species in a fragmented Costa Rican forest. Biotropica 52: 541-553.

Bolt, Laura M., Russell, Dorian G., Coggeshall, Elizabeth M. C., Jacobson, Zachary S., Merrigan-Johnson, Carrie, and Schreier, Amy L. 2020. Howling by the river: howler monkey (Alouatta palliata) communication in an anthropogenically-altered riparian forest in Costa Rica. Behaviour 157: 77-100.

Bolt, Laura M., Schreier, Amy L., Russell, Dorian G., Jacobson, Zachary S., Merrigan-Johnson, Carrie, Barton, Matthew C., and Coggeshall, Elizabeth M. C. 2019. Howling on the edge: Mantled howler monkey (Alouatta palliata) howling behaviour and edge effects in a fragmented rainforest in Costa Rica. Ethology 125: 593-602.

Bolt, Laura M., Schreier, Amy L., Voss, Kristofor A., Sheehan, Elizabeth A., Barrickman, Nancy L., Pryor, Nathaniel P., and Barton, Matthew C. 2018. Influence of anthropogenic edge effects on primate populations and their habitat in a fragmented rainforest in Costa Rica. Primates 59: 301-311.

Bolt, Laura M., and Tennenhouse, Erica. 2017. Contact calling behaviour in the male ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta). Ethology 123: 614-626.

Bolt, Laura M. 2016. “Predator Confusion Hypothesis” in Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science, eds. Todd Shackelford and Viviana Weekes-Shackelford, New York: Springer. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1516-1

Bolt, Laura M. 2016. “Alarm Calling Upon Predator Detection” in Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science, eds. Todd Shackelford and Viviana Weekes-Shackelford, New York: Springer. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1513-1

Bolt, Laura M., Sauther, Michelle L., Cuozzo, Frank T., and Ibrahim Antho Youssouf, Jacky. 2015. Anti-predator vocalization usage in the male ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta). Folia Primatologica 86: 124-133.

Bolt, Laura M. 2014. Male-specific use of the purr in the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta). Folia Primatologica 85: 201-214.

Bolt, Laura M. 2013. Squealing rate indicates dominance rank in the male ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta). American Journal of Primatology 75: 1174-1184.

Bolt, Laura M. 2013. The function of howling in the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta). International Journal of Primatology 34: 157-169.

Bolt, Laura M. 2010. Applying human interactive and communicative theories to ringtailed lemur (Lemur catta) communication. vis-à-vis: Explorations in Anthropology 10: 3-20.

Bolt, Laura M. 2010. “Evolution/Creation Controversy” in 21st Century Anthropology: A Reference Handbook, ed. James Birx, SAGE Publications Inc., pp. 600-610.

Bolt, Laura M. 2009. “Victorian Birdsongs: Sexual Selection, Gender, and Darwin’s Theory of Music” in Darwin in Atlantic Cultures: Evolutionary Visions of Race, Gender, and Sexuality, Routledge Research in Atlantic Studies, eds. Jeannette Eileen Jones and Patrick B. Sharp, New York and London: Routledge, pp. 90-108.

Research

Primate behavioural ecology, forest fragmentation, primate vocal communication

Other

Education: 
Ph.D. (University of Toronto)
M.Phil. (University of Cambridge)
Hons. B.Sc (Queen’s University at Kingston)
Hons. B.Mus (Queen’s University at Kingston)