Date of Award

December 2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Trudy Turner

Committee Members

Christopher Schmitt, Emily Middleton


cortisol, monkey, parity, stress, vervet


This thesis examines the hypothesis that in both Soetdoring and !Gariep populations, a femaleSouth African vervet's parity status (nulliparous or parous) affects her physiological stress levels. Vervet monkey ecology and life history are examined to contextualize the relationship between stress and parity. The testing of this hypothesis involves the analysis of hair cortisol concentrations (HCC) of samples from nulliparous and multiparous adult females of the two different South African sites. The HCC was statistically analyzed to look for correlations between stress, parity status, and site. No significant relationship between stress and parity status was found. However, significant relationships were found between stress and population site and between weight and population site.