Norberto Asensio

September 20th, 2022


B.Sc. (Psychology)
M.Sc. (Psychobiology: Primatology)
Ph.D. (Animal Behaviour)

Research Interests

I am interested in the behavioral ecology of wild animals in the very broad sense of the term.  My research includes how animals perceive and navigate through the landscape and also how human activities affect their behavior, health, and conservation. Recently, I am investigating the ecology and association of two closely related species of gibbons and hybrids co-ocurring in a unique contact zone. This research poses some important ecological and evolutionary questions such as what mechanisms mediate species coexistence and shape their geographical distributions.


Saralampa, C.; José-Domínguez, J.M; Asensio, N. (2022). Movement dynamics of gibbons after the construction of canopy bridges over a park road. Folia primatologica DOI 10.1163/14219980-20211211

Asensio, N., Zandona, E., Dunn, J.C., Cristobal-Azkarate (2022)., Socioecological correlates of social play in adult mantled howler monkeys, Animal Behaviour.

Round, D. R.; Tantipisanuh, N.; Eiamampai, K.; Asensio, N. (2022). The threatened Rufous Limestone Babbler Gypsophila calcicola—not a quarry species, but a “quarried species”. Bird Conservation International, 32(3), 414-422. doi:10.1017/S0959270921000277

Markviriya, D.; Asensio, N.; Brockelman, W.Y.; Jeratthitikul, E.; Kongrit C. (2021). Genetic analysis of hybridization between white-handed (Hylobates lar) and pileated (Hylobates pileatus) gibbons in a contact zone in Khao Yai National Park, Thailand. Primates.

Asensio, N.; Kachanan, J.; Saralamba, C.; José-Domínguez JM. (2021). The impact of roads on the movement of arboreal fauna in protected areas: the case of lar and pileated gibbons in Khao Yai National Park, Thailand. Journal of Tropical Ecology

Alcocer‐Rodríguez, M.; Arroyo‐Rodríguez, V.; Galán‐Acedo, C.; Cristóbal‐Azkarate, J.; Asensio, N.; Rito, K.F.; Jawes, J.E; Vea, J.J.; Dunn, J.C. (2020). Evaluating extinction debt in fragmented forests: The rapid recovery of a critically endangered primate. Animal Conservation doi:10.1111/acv.12648

Melin, A.D.; Hogan, J.D; Campos, F. A.; Wikberg, E.; King-Bailey, G.; Webb, S.; Kalbitzer, U.; Asensio, N.; Murillo-Chacon, E.; Cheves Hernandez, S.; Guadamuz Chavarria, A.; Schaffner, C.M.; Kawamura, S.; Aureli, F.; Fedigan, L.; Jack, K.M. (2020). Primate life history, social dynamics, ecology, and conservation: Contributions from long-term research in Área de Conservación Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Biotropica 52:1041–1064

Syxaiyakhamthor, K.; Ngoprasert, D.; Asensio, N.; Savini, T. (2019). Identifying priority areas for the conservation of the Critically Endangered northern white-cheeked gibbon Nomascus leucogenys in northern Lao. Oryx DOI:

Asensio, N.; José-Domínguez, J.M.; Dunn, J.C. (2018). Socioecological factors affecting range defensibility among howler monkeys. International Journal of Primatology DOI 10.1007/s10764-018-0016-z

Asensio, N.; José-Domínguez, J.M.; Kongrit, C.; Brockelman, W.Y. (2017). The ecology of white-handed and pileated gibbons in a zone of overlap and hybridization in Thailand. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 163(4): 716–728

Cristobal-Azkarate, J.; Dias, P.A; Vegas-Carrillo, S.; Hervier, B.;  Dunn, J.; Asensio, N.; Rodriguez-Luna, E.; Vea, J.J. (2017). Los efectos de la fragmentacion sobre las poblaciones de monos aulladores de manto en Los Tuxtlas: una vision integrada. In: Avances y perspectivas en la investigacion de bosques tropicales y sus alrededores: Los Tuxtlas. Reynoso-Rosales, V.H.; Coates, R. (eds). UNAM, Mexico.

Asensio, N.; Murillo-Chacon, E.; Schaffner, C.M.; Aureli, F. (2017). The effect of roads on spider monkeys’ home range and mobility in a heterogeneous regenerating forest. Biotropica 49(4):546–554

Jose-Dominguez, J.M.; Savini, T.; Asensio, N. (2015). Ranging and site fidelity in northern pigtailed macaques (Macaca leonina) over different temporal scales. American Journal of Primatology 77(8): 841-853.

Asensio, N.; Schaffner, C.M.; Aureli, F. (2015). Quality and overlap of individual core areas are related to group tenure in female spider monkeys. American Journal of Primatology 77(7): 777-785.

Jose Dominguez, J.M.; Huynen, M.C.; Garcia, C.J.; Asensio, N.; Savini, T. (2015). Exploring the Multiple Functions of Sleeping Sites in Northern Pigtailed Macaques (Macaca leonina). International Journal of Primatology 36(5):931-949.

Jose Dominguez, J.M.; Huynen, M.C.; Garcia, C.J.; Albert. A.; Savini, T.; Asensio, N. (2015). Non territorial macaques can range like territorial gibbons when partially provisioned with food. Biotropica 47(6): 733-744.

Arroyo-Rodríguez, V.; Asensio, N.; Dunn, J.C.; Cristóbal-Azkarate, J.; Gonzalez-Zamora, A. (2015). Use of lianas by primates: more than a food source. pp. 407-426. In: Ecology of Lianas. Schnitzer S., Bongers F., Burnham R., Putz F.(eds). Wiley-Blackwell publisher, New York, US.

Cristobal-Azkarate, J.; Urbani, B.; Asensio, N. (2015). Interactions of howlers with other  vertebrates: a review. pp. 141-144. In: Kowalewski MM, Garber PA, Cortés-Ortiz L, Urbani B, Youlatos D (eds) Howler monkeys: examining the biology, adaptive radiation, and behavioral ecology of the most widely distributed genus of Neotropical primate. Springer, New York.

Suwanpakdee, S.; Kaewkungwal, J., White, L.; Asensio, N.; Ratanakorn, P.; Singhasivanon, R., Panngum, W. (2015). Spatio-temporal patterns of leptospirosis in Thailand: is flooding a risk factor?   Epidemiology and infection 143(10):2106-2115.

Asensio, N.; Brockelman, W.Y.; Malaivijitnond, S.; Reichard, U. (2014). White-handed gibbon (Hylobates lar) core area use over a short-time scale. Biotropica 46(4): 461-469.

Asensio, N. (2014). Etologia del juego. In: Etologia, la ciencia del comportamiento animal. Sanchez, S. Redolar, D. (eds.). pp. 419-443. The Open University of Catalonia (UOC), Barcelona.

Aureli, F.; Schaffner, C.M.; Asensio, N.; Lusseau, D. (2012). What is a subgroup? How socioecological factors influence interindividual distance. Behavioral Ecology 23(6): 1308-1315

Asensio, N.; Lousseau, D.; Schaffner, C.M.; Aureli, F. (2012). Spider monkeys use high-quality core areas in a tropical dry forest. Journal of Zoology 287(8): 250-258

Dunn JC, Asensio N, Arroyo-Rodríguez V, Schnitzer S, Cristóbal-Azkarate J (2012). The ranging costs of a fallback food: liana consumption supplements diet but increases foraging effort in howler monkeys. Biotropica 44(5): 705-714

Asensio, N.; Schaffner, C.M.; Aureli, F. (2012). Variability in corea areas of spider monkeys Ateles geoffroyi in a dry tropical forest. Primates 53(2): 147-156

Asensio, N.; Brockelman, W.Y.; Malaivijitnond, S.; Reichard, U. (2011). Gibbon travel paths are goal oriented. Animal Cognition 14(3): 395-405

Asensio, N.; Arroyo-Rodriguez, V.; Dunn, J.; Cristobal-Azkarate, J. (2009). Landscape supplementation provided by neighbouring small patches: a case study for howler monkeys in Los Tuxtlas, Mexico. Biotropica 41(6): 768-773

Asensio, N.; Korstjens, A.H.; Aureli, F. (2009). Fissioning minimizes ranging costs in spider monkeys: a multiple-level approach.  Behavioral Ecology and Socioecology 63(5): 649-651

Arroyo-Rodríguez, V.; Asensio, N.; Cristobal-Azkarate (2008). Long-term study on the evolution of a Mexican mantled howler group in a rainforest fragment: Demography, life history and migrations. American Journal of Primatology 70: 114-118.

Asensio, N.; Korstjens, A.H.; Chaffner, C.; Aureli, F. (2008). Intragroup aggression, feeding competition and fission-fusion sociality in spider monkeys. Behaviour 145(7): 883-1001.

Asensio, N.; Cristobal-Azkarate, J.; Dias, P.; Vea, J.; Rodríguez-Luna, E.  (2007). Foraging habits of Mexican howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata mexicana) inhabiting three different forest fragments. Folia primatologica 78 (3): 141-153.

Asensio, N.; Arroyo-Rodriguez, V.; Cristobal-Azkarate, J. (2007). Feeding encounters between a group of howler monkeys and white-nosed coatis in a small forest fragment in Los Tuxtlas, Mexico. Journal of Tropical Ecology 23: 1-3.

Cristobal-Azkarate, J.; Vea, J.; Asensio, N.; Rodriguez-Luna, E. (2005). Biogeographical and Floristic Predictors of the Presence and Abundance of Mantled Howlers (Alouatta palliata mexicana) in Rainforest Fragments at Los Tuxtlas, México.   International Journal of Primatology 67. 209-222.

Asensio, N. 2003. Analisis del juego social en el mono aullador Alouatta palliata bajo diferentes condiciones socioambientales. PhD Thesis. Madrid: Universidad Autonoma de Madrid. 170p.

Asensio, N.; Gómez-Marín, F. (2002). Interspecific interaction and predator avoidance behavior in response to tayra (Eira barbara) by mantled howler monkeys.  Primates 43 (4). 339-342.

Gomez-Marin F; Vea J.J.; Rodriguez-Luna E ; Garcia-Orduna F ; Canales-Espinosa D ; Escobar M ; Asensio, N (2001). Food resources and the survival of a group of howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata mexicana) in disturbed and restricted habitat at Los Tuxtlas, Veracruz, Mexico. Neotropical Primates 9(2). 60-67.


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