Dr. Andrew J. J. MacIntosh

Associate Professor

CICASP

Research

  • Primate behavioral ecology
  • Primate parasite/disease ecology and ecological immunology
  • Parasite community structure and coinfection
  • Fitness costs and health impacts of parasitism in natural populations
  • Wildlife monitoring, health and conservation
  • Biocomplexity - fractal analysis as an indicator of complexity loss or increased stereotypy in stress and disease

Infectious Disease Ecology

I have initiated a long-term project monitoring parasite infection dynamics in Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata), with the aim of modeling interactions between primate and parasite population processes and the impacts of parasitism on primate health and behavior. Understanding these patterns and processes under natural conditions can help determine potential impacts of habitat alteration on primate populations, which is a constant concern in conservation of endangered species. One of my main interests is to determine host traits that contribute to heterogeneity in infection phenotypes across individuals. I am currently focusing on the importance of social structure in mediating both exposure and susceptibility to parasitic nematode infection, working with the populations of Japanese macaques on Koshima and Yakushima Islands, under naturalistic and field-experimental conditions. By disrupting the natural course of infection via anthelmintic treatment of target individuals, I hope to uncover mechanisms of reinfection and potential fitness benefits of parasite removal.

In a recent expansion of this project, I am now beginning a project in collaboration with the Sabah Wildlife Department, the Danau Girang Field Centre and Cardiff University, Universiti Malaysia Sabah and other researchers here at KUPRI to investigate ecological networks in parasite infection among Borneo's rich primate biodiversity. Since Japanese macaques are isolated from other nonhuman primates, within-species effects clearly dominate parasite transmission dynamics, at least for parasites with direct modes of transmission. In tropical areas, however, multiple related primate species typically live sympatrically, allowing for potential cross-infection by parasites. This means that not only specific host individuals but also specific host species may play a disproportionate role in the transmission dynamics of certain disease-causing or otherwise parasitic organisms, i.e. between-species effects. If host community assemblages can affect the transmission rates of generalist (shared) parasites, then the potential exists for other species to influence infection dynamics of focal species, such as primates and other wildlife of conservation concern, or humans, leading to indirect effects on their population viabilities. We aim to address such issues in a project aimed at: (1) developing robust parasite-specific molecular diagnostics to assess primate-parasite biodiversity; (2) determining the extent to which parasites are shared across primate hosts and whether parasites can determine host community structure; (3) assessing spillover of gastrointestinal parasites between nonhuman primates and humans, including domestic animals; and, (4) examining the relationship between habitat fragmentation and parasite biodiversity sensu environmental parasitology.

Fractal Complexity in Animal Behaviour

Perhaps because of the difficulties inherent in determining costs associated with parasite infection and other ecological challenges, I have also been investigating the utility of fractal analysis in health monitoring studies of wild animal behaviour. I am currently using various fractal methods, including detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA) and various other Hurst exponent estimators, as well as other tools that measure fractal dimension, to examine complexity in behavioural sequences - which are subtly more stereotypical with stress and disease. My previous research suggested a possible link between parasitic infection and complexity loss in Japanese macaques, and I am currently applying these fractal tools to other study systems, including further work with Japanese macaques and other primates in collaboration with the University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno, as well as penguins in collaboration with the IPHC-DEPE, CNRS-University of Strasbourg. In the latter case, using the novel merger of temporal fractal analysis applied to data collected via bio-logging (i.e. using animal-attached data recording devices) has shown that penguin dive sequences exhibit fractal properties across a number of scales and over long time periods, and that certain challenges such as increased physiological stress are associated with fractal complexity loss. We aim to use fractal tools to investigate through a comparative approach behavioral complexity in relation to both individual and environmental quality, and particularly with reference to issues surrounding climate change in the Antarctic region.

Background

  • (2000) B. Sc. in Anthropology, Department of Anthropology, University of Calgary
  • (2002) M. A. in Anthropology, Concentration: Primatology, Department of Anthropology, University of Calgary
  • (2010) D. Sc. in Primatology, Graduate School of Sciences, Division of Biology, Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University

After receiving the MA degree from the University of Calgary, I moved to Japan and worked as an English teacher before returning to academia in 2007 to conduct doctoral studies at the Kyoto University Primate Research Institute. My dissertation, which was supervised by Dr. Michael Huffman, was entitled "Gastrointestinal helminth parasitism among Japanese macaques: patterns, processes and host responses". After completing my degree, I remained at the PRI as a post-doctoral research associate with CICASP, before becoming assistant professor in April, 2012. To date, I have studied primates in one capacity or another in Central America, Africa, and Asia, but my current focus is on Asian macaques and their parasitic worms, and is supported by a grant-in-aid from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. More recently, however, I have also begun studying seabird behaviour, and in particular patterns of behavioural complexity among various penguin species.

Selected Publications

  • Ropert-Coudert Y, Kato A, Meyer X, Pellé M, MacIntosh AJJ, Angelier F, Chastel O, Widmann M, Arthur B, Raymond B, Raclot T (2014) A complete breeding failure in an Adélie penguin colony correlates with unusual, extreme environmental events. Ecography. doi:10.1111/ecog.01182
  • MacIntosh AJJ (2014) The fractal primate: interdisciplinary science and the math behind the monkey. Primate Research 30:95-119
  • MacIntosh AJJ (2014) Ecology and epidemiology of nematode infection in Japanese macaques: building an empirical model. Primate Research 30:23-51
  • Cottin M*, MacIntosh AJJ*, Kato A, Takahashi A, Debin M, Raclot T, Ropert-Coudert Y (2014) Corticosterone administration leads to a transient alteration of foraging behaviour and complexity in a diving seabird. Marine Ecology Progress Series 496:249-262
  • MacIntosh AJJ*, Pelletier L*, Chiaradia A, Kato A, Ropert-Coudert Y (2013) Temporal fractals in seabird foraging behaviour: diving through the scales of time. Scientific Reports 3:1884
  • Sueur C, MacIntosh AJJ, Jacobs AT, Watanabe K, Petit O (2013) Predicting leadership using nutrient requirements and dominance rank of group members. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 67:457-470
  • MacIntosh AJJ, Jacobs A, Garcia C, Shimizu K, Mouri K, Huffman MA, Hernandez AD (2012) Monkeys in the middle: parasite transmission through the social network of a wild primate. PLoS one 7:e51144
  • MacIntosh AJJ, Huffman MA, Nishiwaki K, Nishiwaki-Miyabe T (2012) Urological screening of wild Japanese macaques: trends in nutrition and health. International Journal of Primatology 33:460-478
  • MacIntosh AJJ, Alados CL, Huffman MA (2011) Fractal analysis of behaviour in a wild primate: behavioural complexity in health and disease. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 8:1497-1509
  • MacIntosh AJJ, Hernandez AD, Huffman MA (2010) Host age, sex, and reproductive seasonality affect nematode parasitism in wild Japanese macaques. Primates 51:353-364
  • MacIntosh AJJ, Huffman MA (2010) Towards understanding the role of diet in host-parasite interactions: the case for Japanese macaques. In: Nakagawa N, Nakamichi M, Sugiura H (eds) The Japanese macaques. Springer, pp. 323–344
  • Hernandez AD, MacIntosh AJJ, Huffman MA (2009) Primate parasite ecology: patterns and predictions from an on-going study of Japanese macaques. In: Huffman MA, Chapman CA (eds) Primate parasite ecology: the dynamics of host-parasite relationships. Cambridge University Press, pp. 387–401
  • MacIntosh AJJ, Sicotte P (2009) Vigilance in ursine black and white colobus monkeys (Colobus vellerosus): an examination of the effects of conspecific threat and predation. American Journal of Primatology 71:919-927
  • Sicotte P,MacIntosh AJ (2004) Inter-group encounters and male incursions in Colobus vellerosus in Central Ghana. Behaviour 141(5):533-553
  • *these authors contributed equally to this work

Contact

Center for International Collaboration and
Advanced Studies in Primatology
Kyoto University Primate Research Institute
41-2 Kanrin, Inuyama, Aichi
Japan 484-8506
ph: +81(0)568-63-0453