Instructions for Writing Quality Abstracts

Titles and Affiliations

Titles should be concise, with a clear statement of the variables (independent and dependent), species, housing/condition (corral-living, zoo living, free-ranging, etc.), and for field studies, location of the study. The design should be clear from the wording of the title; for nonexperimental research, avoid words that imply causation.

The full institutional affiliation, including address, is needed for the first author. Affiliation name and e-mail are required for each additional author.

Title, author(s), and affiliation(s) are not counted toward the 225-word limit.

Body of the Abstract (225-Word Limit)

Below are recommendations for what should be included in an abstract. Remember that not all of these recommended elements apply to all types of studies/abstracts. Please include all relevant and appropriate components.

Abstracts will be published and may be cited, so prepare a complete summary of your work that can be understood without any supporting or additional information. Please (1) check spelling and grammar carefully, (2) use metric units of measurement, and (3) define all acronyms and nonstandard abbreviations.

Two complete abstracts are provided below as examples. Both have been reproduced with permission of the authors. While these abstracts might not contain all the recommended elements mentioned above, most elements are included.

Note of Acknowledgment: The 1994-1996 and 1996-1998, and 2021-2022 ASP Program Committees developed the instructions provided on this page.


J. A. French, K. T. Phillips, and B. J. Proskocil

Nebraska Behavioral Biology Group and Psychology Department, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha NE 68182-0274.

While a good deal is known about changes in gonadal hormone production throughout development and its modification by social factors in callitrichid primates, less is known about maturational changes in adrenal steroid hormone production. We present data on profiles of glucocorticoids in male marmosets to address this shortcoming. Urine samples were collected noninvasively from males residing in their natal family groups (n = 24) at ages varying from 1.2 to 35 months. For reference purposes we also measured urinary cortisol concentrations in a sample of breeding adult male marmosets. A cross-sectional sampling strategy was utilized, so not all males contributed samples at all age-points. Urinary free cortisol was measured via EIA. Levels of cortisol were higher in young infants (less than 3 months of age; > 40 mg Cortisol/mg Cr) than in any other age class, including adult males. After 3 months of age, levels drop to low concentrations (~ 10 – 15 mg/mg Cr) and remain low thereafter. While urinary testosterone peaks in sons at 12 months of age, there were no corresponding changes in cortisol excretion. Compared to sons in family groups, breeding adult males had significantly higher concentrations of urinary cortisol. As is the case in daughters, then, reduced gonadal function in sons is not associated with elevated cortisol, and must be mediated by mechanisms other than the HPA axis. Supported by NSF (IBN 97-23842).


P.T. Mehlman and D. Doran

Department of Anthropology, Stony Brook SUNY, Stony Brook, NY 11794.

Observations of 432 nighttime group nest sites (3309 individual nests) were made between 1995-1998 in a 502km site in the Dzanga-Ndoki National Park, CAR. With the aid of Ba’Aka trackers, fresh nest sites (<2 days) were located while tracking groups leaving trail in the rainforest. Nests were classified as adult silverback male versus all others (adult females, blackbacks, juveniles) on the basis of dung size and absence/presence of silverback hairs. Infant dung was not reliably found in all nest sites that included known infants, but was scored when found near mothers’ nests (approximately 10% of sites). For nest sites in which number of silverbacks and nonsilverbacks could be identified (317), mean number of silverbacks nests per site was 1.2+0.4; 81% of these group sites contained only one silverback (n=256) and 19% contained two silverback nests (61). Mean minimum number of nonsilverback nests per group site was between 5.6+3.3 (minimum) and 6.5+3.5 (maximum). Minimum number of total nests per site (with dung near each nest) was 6.8+3.4. Maximum number of nests (with and without dung) was 7.7+3.6. Nest site counts ranged in size between 2 and 20 weaned individuals (single male nests excluded). These results indicate mean group size in this lowland gorilla population is 7-8 weaned individuals. Supported by National Science Foundation (SBR-9422438) and SUNY, Stony Brook.