Margaret Crofoot

Margaret Crofoot

Position Title
Assistant Professor

Department of Anthropology, College of Letters and Science

208 Young Hall

Profile Introduction

I am interested in the evolution of complex social systems, and specifically, understanding how collective (group) behaviors emerge from interactions among individuals, and how group traits impact individual fitness. I use remote tracking technology in conjunction with field-based experiments and observational methods to explore group movement and decision-making, coordinated territorial defense, and other collective behaviors in primate social groups.

Research Interests

Cooperation and Conflict in Intergroup Competition

Crofoot, M.C. 2013. The Cost of Defeat: Capuchins groups travel further, faster and later after losing conflicts with neighbors.  American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 152(1): 79-85.

Crofoot, M.C. and Gilby, I.C.  2012. Cheating monkeys undermine group strength in enemy territory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 109(2): 501-505.

Crofoot, M. C., Rubenstein, D. I., Maiya, A. S., Berger-Wolf, T. Y. 2011. Aggression, grooming and group-level cooperation in white-faced capuchin monkeys (Cebus capucinus): Insights from Social Networks.  American Journal of Primatology, 73(8): 821-833.

Crofoot, M. C., Gilby, I. C., Wikelski, M. C., Kays, R. W. 2008. Interaction location outweighs the competitive advantage of numerical superiority in Cebus capucinus intergroup contests. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(2): 577-581.

Consensus Decision-Making and Collective Behavior in Primate Societies

Farine, D. R.*, Strandburg-Peshkin*, A., Berger-Wolf, T., Ziebart, B., Brugere, I., Li, J., Crofoot, M.C. 2016. Both Nearest Neighbors and Long-term Affiliates Predict Individual Locations During Collective Movement in Wild Baboons. Scientific Reports. 6: 27704.

Amornbunchornvej, C., Brugere, I., Strandburg-Peshkin, A.*, Farine, D.*, Crofoot, M. C., Berger-Wolf,          T.Y. 2016. FLICA: A framework for leader identification in coordinated activity. arXiv preprint       arXiv:1603.01570.

Strandburg-Peshkin, A.*, Farine, D.*, Couzin, I., Crofoot, M.C. 2015 Shared decision-making drives collective movement in wild baboons. Science. 348(6241): 1358-61.

Li, J., Brugere, I., Ziebart, B., Berger-Wolf, T., Crofoot, M., Farine, D.* 2014. Social Information Improves Location Prediction in the Wild. Proceedings of the 15th International Workshop on Trajectory-based Behaviour Analytics (TrBA’15).

Grad Group Affiliations

  • Animal Behavior


  • 2001 B.A. Human Biology Stanford University
  • 2003 M.A. Biological Anthropology Harvard University
  • 2008 Ph.D. Biological Anthropology Harvard University