Areas of Expertise (6)
Dr. Darby Proctor's research focuses on decision-making in nonhuman primates in order to understand the evolutionary roots of human decision-making biases.
She was instrumental in setting up a collaboration between Florida Tech and Brevard Zoo and conducts research with their animals, most notably spider monkeys. In addition to this line of research, Dr. Proctor is interested in pedagogy and increasing student involvement in the classroom.
She created roachlab.org to provide hands-on animal experiences for undergraduate students at Florida Tech and beyond.
Before coming to Florida Tech, Dr. Proctor was an National Institutes of Health-funded IRACDA Fellow in Research and Science Teaching (FIRST) at Emory University and Yerkes National Primate Research Center. She received her Ph.D. in psychology from Georgia State University, where she worked at the Language Research Center.
Media Appearances (6)
Florida Tech, Brevard Zoo Host Dedication Ceremony for Dr. Mary Helen McCay Research Shed
Space Coast Daily News
The shed will serve as the working space for Darby Proctor and Catherine Talbot, faculty members from the School of Psychology whose research involves spider monkeys, as well as for storage.
Women in STEM: Florida Tech Student Gets Experience at Brevard Zoo
"Pretty rare for undergraduates to get experience, especially in areas like animal behavior," says Florida Tech’s Dr. Darby Proctor, her professor and mentor.
Florida Tech Joins Forces with Brevard Zoo to Re-home Endangered Spider Monkey
Florida Tech News
“The real answer is, we don’t know because we don’t have that backstory,” says assistant professor Darby Proctor, who also works at Brevard Zoo studying spider monkeys. “However, in cases like this, the most frequent scenario is that a poacher goes into the forest, they shoot the mom for bush meat … then, they take the babies to sell into the illegal pet trade.”
Smuggled spider monkey to fly from Texas to his new home at Brevard Zoo
"He’s most likely a victim of the exotic pet trade. That's always a really tough situation. He's not with the family that he should have grown up with," said Darby Proctor, a Florida Institute of Technology assistant professor of psychology who researches spider monkeys at the zoo.
Dr. Proctor’s Roach Research
Flordia Tech News online
Animal Behavior specialist, Dr. Darby Proctor, made the front cover of Discovery Magazine with her roach research: “Utilizing cockroaches as testing subjects is a new frontier that has a world of potential.
Gambling monkeys may provide clues to why humans take risks
The Washington Post
Darby Proctor, a comparative psychologist at the Florida Institute of Technology who was not involved in the study, said it’s “not super surprising” to find that the frontal cortex is involved in the decisions.
Georgia State University: Ph.D., Psychcology - Cognitive Sciences and Animal Behavior 2012
Georgia State University: M.S., Biological Anthropology 2007
University of Florida: M.S.M., Management 2003
University of Florida: B.A., Biological Anthropology 2002
Selected Articles (6)
Cockroaches to the rescue: A new approach to reintroduce animal labs to the psychology undergraduate curriculum.Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology
Collaboration and open science initiatives in primate researchPrimate Cognitive Studies
Leveraging Embedded Undergraduate Research to Bolster Research Culture: A Multi-Pronged Approach Case StudyFlorida Statewide Symposium
The effect of a nighttime zoo event on spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) behaviorExperimental Results
Collaborative open science as a way to reproducibility and new insights in primate cognition researchJapanese Psychological Review
Chimpanzees play the ultimatum gamePsychological and Cognitive Sciences
- Brevard Zoo : Research Scientist
- Save the Chimps : Chimpanzee Wellbeing Advisory Committee
- American Psychological Association Advisory Panel for PsycLearn : Member
- Biology Letters : Editorial Board Member
- Journal of Comparative Psychology : Consulting Editor
- American Society of Primatologists Research Committee : Grant Reviewer
- Animal Behavior and Cognition : Editorial Board Member
- Frontiers in Psychology (Comparative Psychology) : Review Editor
Kerry Bruce Clark Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching (professional)
Event Appearances (5)
Roach lab: Using cockroaches to increase learning outcomes in undergraduate psychology
Conference for Academic Research in Education Las Vegas, Nevada
Leveraging embedded undergraduate research to bolster research culture: A multi-pronged approach case study
Best Practices in Undergraduate Research, Florida Statewide Symposium Orlando, Florida
Risk-Taking as part of reputation formation among chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)
International Primatological Society Congress XXVII Nairobi
When cultures collide: Cultural transmission with alternating traditions in a newly formed group of captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)
International Primatological Society Congress XXVI Chicago, Illinois
Audience effects chimpanzee decision-making in the primate gambling task
International Conference on Comparative Cognition Melbourne, Florida