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University of Wisconsin–Madison
Wisconsin National Primate Research Center
A legacy of life-saving research and humane animal care

Peter Pierre, PHD

Behavioral Management Unit Head
Assistant Scientist


Animal Services (Behavioral Management), Wisconsin National Primate Research Center

Contact Information

Peter Pierre’s e-mail

Other Web Sites

WNPRC Behavioral Management Unit

Aligned research focus

Early experience, Development, Individual Differences, Behavior, Neuroimaging.

Research description

My broad research focus is on the effects of early experience on biobehavioral processes. I use a lifespan approach to investigate the effects of early environmental factors on developmental trajectories in aspects of brain, behavior, and physiology in macaques. My background as an experimental scientist will allow the unit to develop evidence-based studies to assess the effectiveness and animal welfare benefit of the training and environmental enhancement that we provide to the WNPRC monkeys. An evidenced-based approach allows the unit to develop and continue to refine enrichment techniques that can be effectively implemented in our housing environments. Our goal is to adopt enrichment strategies that maximize welfare benefit and to weed out strategies that prove to be less effective in supporting species-typical behavior. Adopting a developmental perspective provides the opportunity for the Behavioral Management Unit to incorporate specific maturational considerations in our welfare enhancement approaches.

Selected references

Bennett AJ, Perkins CM, Tenpas PD, Reineback AL, Pierre, P.J. 2016, June. Moving evidence into practice: cost analysis and assessmentof Macaques’ sustained behavioral engagement with videogames and foraging devices. American Journal of Primatology, 1-15.

Bennett AJ, Perkins CM, Harty NM, Niu M, Buelo A, Luck ML, Pierre PJ. 2014. Assessment of foraging devices as a model for decision-making in nonhuman primate environmental enrichment. Journal of the American Association of Laboratory Animal Science. 53 (5), 1-12.

Coleman K, Pierre PJ. 2014. Assessing anxiety in nonhuman primates. ILAR Journal, 55 (2), 333-346.

Hopkins WD, Meguerditchian A, Coulon O, Bogart S, Mangin J, Sherwood CC, Grabowski MW, Bennett AJ, Pierre PJ, Fears S, Woods R, Hof PR, Vauclair J. 2014. Evolution of the central sulcus morphology in primates. Brain Behav Evol, 84, 19-30.

Rosga M, Pierre PJ. 2013. Incorporating transfer training as a daily husbandry routine for pen-housed monkeys. Lab Animal Science Professional, March, pp 36-38.

Freeman HD, Sullivan J, Hopper LM, Talbot CF, Holmes AN, Schultz-Darken N, Williams LE, Brosnan SF. 2013. Different responses to reward comparisons by three primate species. PLOS1, 8(10): 1-7.