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Undergraduate Mathieu Wilson Discusses His Research

Mat Wilson is a Senior in the Anthropology department concentrating in both biological anthropology and Archaeology. Mat has been awarded the 25 Ducks Award, the Nontraditional Student Award, the 2017 PACURH Student of the Year Award, and he is a McNair Scholar.

“I’m currently working on research as a McNair Scholar with Dr. Francis White and graduate student Kylen Gartland. My research, “Socio-sexual behaviors of captive bonobos (Pan paniscus) in proximity to an artificially built termite mound”, examines the use of socio-sexual behaviors in reducing tensions that arise from competition for food (termite mound). I collected data from Dr. Klaree Boose’ video recordings of 15 bonobos housed at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, where an artificially built termite mound had recently been constructed. The termite mound was stocked daily with honey, and pureed fruits and vegetables. All-occurances of dorso-ventral and ventro-ventral mounting were recorded, including the age and sex of each individual involved, as well as their proximity to the mound. This project is in the data analysis stage and I plan to present my findings at the 88th annual American Association of Physical Anthropologists conference in Cleveland, OH in March of 2019.

Outside of the anthropology department, I’m working on research with Dr. Renee Delgado-Riley, Dr. Brian Clark, and Dr. Laurie Woodward (all of the Division of Student Life) on, “The living room of campus: a post-occupational study of the Erb Memorial Union at the University of Oregon”. We are researching how people, predominantly students, interact with the student union since the recent renovation and expansion. Additionally, we are examining how student’s feel a “sense of belonging” in the building. Initial data collected occurred during the 2017-2018 academic year via observations of students within the building and a survey, and the final stage of data collection in the form of focus groups will occur during Fall 2018. Preliminary findings were presented at UO’s Undergraduate Research Symposium in May of 2018.
I am currently in process of preparing to apply to grad school!”