One of the three key components of the DLC’s mission is Research. We want to learn as much as possible about prosimian primates, and have an active research program in which most of the colony participates. The incredible diversity of the species we house provides incredible opportunities for species comparisons. Our animals range in size from the 60g mouse lemur to the larger sifakas, who can weigh over 5 kg. We have nocturnal, diurnal, and cathemeral animals, as well as species that exhibit a variety of social systems, modes of locomotion, and dietary preferences. Currently, some of the main areas of exploration are in the fields of:
Research here also addresses issues related to husbandry and veterinary care. The entire DLC colony is potentially available for research, but specific animal use may be limited in some cases due to factors such as breeding status, age, and health status. Please contact the Research Manager for more information regarding use of specific animals.
Although we do not allow research – or sample collection - that will harm our animals in any way, we bank biological samples opportunistically and support a variety of research projects requiring blood, serum, tissues, etc.
While much of the ongoing research is conducted by Duke University faculty and students, the Lemur Center welcomes researchers from outside the Duke community and recent projects have been carried out by academics from institutions all over the country and the world.
If you are interested in live animal or biological sample research at the DLC, please contact the Research Manager to discuss project feasibility, animal availability, and to obtain appropriate application forms. Any project requiring animal manipulation must also be approved by the Duke Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), and information about and assistance with this process can also be obtained from the DLC Research Manager.