People

PI:

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Amy Lu

Amy is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at Stony Brook University. As a graduate student, she studied how ecological and social factors influenced female reproduction and mating strategies in wild Phayre’s leaf monkeys (Trachypithecus crepusculus phayrei). After finishing her Ph.D. in 2009 (Stony Brook University, advised by Dr. Carola Borries), she obtained postdoctoral positions, first at the University of Michigan (advised by Dr. Jacinta Beehner) and then at the University of Illinois. During those years, she developed an interest in development and began an ongoing long-term project focusing on the ecological and social factors influencing developmental trajectories in a population of wild geladas (Theropithecus gelada) residing in the Simien Mountains National Park, in Ethiopia. Her current research continues to examine the developmental period, with particular focus on life history tradeoffs associated with reproductive maturation and weaning. In her spare time, she attempts to keep up with “real” cross-fitters at her gym. She tells herself that it keeps her fit for the highlands of Ethiopia.

Post-Docs:

India Schneider-Crease

Graduate Students:

 

RPerlman

Rachel Perlman

Rachel is a PhD candidate in the Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences at Stony Brook University. She is broadly interested in sexual selection, behavioral endocrinology, and the evolution of primate mating strategies. Her research is focused on reproductive ecology and the physiological processes underlying mechanisms of reproductive competition. For her dissertation, she is examining the role of energetics in male reproductive strategies in geladas as part of the University of Michigan Gelada Research Project. Her research combines behavioral observations of geladas in the field with non-invasive hormone sampling and radioimmunoassays in the lab. When she’s not sitting in front of her computer or chasing monkeys in the highlands of Ethiopia, Rachel enjoys playing with her pet ferret, Dexter. You can read more on Rachel’s personal website here. A link to Rachel’s CV can be found here.

 

Evelyn Pain

Evelyn is a Ph.D. candidate in the Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences at Stony Brook University, advised by Dr. Andreas Koenig. Her dissertation research focuses on how male-male competition among woolly monkeys (Lagothrix poeppigii) is affected by intrasexual morphological and hormonal variation. This project combines behavioral observation and the non-invasive collection of photogrammetric measurements and hormone samples from wild woolly monkeys. Data for this project is collected at the Tiputini Biodiversity Station in Yasuní, Ecuador as part of an ongoing research project on New World primates conducted by Dr. Anthony Di Fiore from the University of Texas at Austin. More broadly, Evelyn’s research interests include behavioral endocrinology and intrasexual competition. A link to Evelyn’s personal website can be found here. A link to Evelyn’s CV can be found here.

 

Lauren Petrullo

Lauren is a Ph.D. student in the Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Anthropological Science of Stony Brook University. Her research is centered on the physiological mechanisms underlying life history trade-offs, particularly during development. She is interested in how these mechanisms interact with early life experiences to shape individual phenotype. Her research aims to investigate the potential adaptive value of plasticity during development by combining both proximate and evolutionary approaches within a life history framework. Currently, she is examining how steroid hormones in milk during lactation affect growth and adrenal function in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). She is also conducting pilot work exploring how the relationship between the endocrine system and bacteria in milk and the gut affects infant outcomes in vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops). A link to Lauren’s CV can be found here. A link to Lauren’s website can be found here.

 

 

Jacob Feder

Jacob Feder is a PhD student in the Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences (IDPAS) at Stony Brook University, advised by Amy Lu. In 2015, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Music from Wesleyan University, where he participated in field entomology research on the effects of insect mutualisms. His research interests concern the development of social behavior, with specific reference to the effects of parity on the formation of relationships and social independence from mother. A link to Jacob’s CV can be found here.

 

Marcy Weber

Marcy Ekanayake-Weber is a PhD student of the Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences (IDPAS) at Stony Brook University. For her research, Marcy has built agent-based models in the Python Programming Language which simulated population genetics and mating systems in hamadryas baboons, and the effects of human disturbance in toque macaques. Currently, Marcy is modelling the relationship between male reproductive skew and the variance in lifetime reproductive success in geladas, hamadryas baboons, and yellow baboons. In the future, she plans to study adaptability in tufted gray and purple-faced langurs in Sri Lanka. When not at Stony Brook, Marcy lives in Queens and enjoys the company of her cat Hoho. A link to Marcy’s CV can be found here.

 

Undergraduate Students:

 

Richard Liang

Richard is an undergraduate double majoring in Biology and Anthropology at Stony Brook University. He assists the graduate students in the endocrinology lab with their research, works in the digital photogrammetry lab and is also the webmaster for this site. Additionally, he volunteers at the Stony Brook Hospital and interns at the Stony Brook Primary Care Center. After he graduates, he plans on attending medical school to obtain his M.D. He enjoys biking and making origami during his free time.

 

Alumni:

 

Lewis-Bevan, Lynn Blurb Photo

Lynn Lewis-Bevin

Lynn graduated with a BA in Anthropology from Stony Brook University in May 2017. As an undergrad, she completed a senior honors project that examined the effect of maternal rank on juvenile agonistic interactions in two species, Phayre’s leaf monkeys and geladas. Following graduation, she is pursuing a PhD in Zoology at the University of Oxford, beginning in October 2017.

 

Field picture

Laura Morrissey

Laura Morrissey is a research assistant for the Gelada Research Project where she specializes in collecting fecal samples and behavioral data from infants and their associated mothers.  She is a recent graduate of Stony Brook University where she obtained a B.S. in Biology with a concentration in Neuroscience and a B.S. in Human Evolutionary Biology.  In addition, Laura completed an undergraduate thesis with Dr. Amy Lu that looked at the effect of parity on maternal investment in geladas.  Prior to being a research assistant, Laura spent a few months in Kenya as a Turkana Basin teaching assistant.  In her spare time, Laura likes to play volleyball, soccer and go horseback riding.