• Elizabeth Ballare
  • Elizabeth Ballare
  • Lab Manager for Laboratory for Primate Dietary Ecology and Physiology (LPDEP)
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    Doctor of Philosophy, 2021, Ecology and Evolution, Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey

    Title: Health effects of rehabilitation and release in Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii)

    Honors: Fulbright Student Research Scholar


    As a graduate student, Dr. Ballare’s research explored the physiological consequences of rehabilitation and release in primates. She assayed, quantified, and compared protein balance (urea), energetics (C-peptide; ketones), stress (cortisol), and immune system responsiveness (neopterin; cytokines) in rehabilitant and reintroduced Bornean orangutan urine at the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation’s Nyaru Menteng Rehabilitation Centre and Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest and wild Bornean orangutans at the Tuanan Orangutan Research Center (co-directed by advisor Dr. Erin R. Vogel).

    After completing her doctoral degree, Dr. Ballare became a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. Working alongside primary investigator Dr. Thibaud Gruber, Dr. Ballare’s research focused on answering questions surrounding the relative profitability hypothesis, tool use, food availability, and energy balance in chimpanzees and humans. To test the hypothesis, Dr. Ballare non-invasively collected urine samples from wild Ugandan chimpanzees at the Bugoma Primate Conservation Project and urine and saliva samples from students and faculty in Geneva. She then assayed these samples for biomarkers of physiological energetics and analyzed them alongside behavioral and dietary observations.

    Currently, Dr. Ballare is a Research Scientist and the Laboratory Manager for primary investigator Dr. Erin R. Vogel and the Laboratory for Primate Dietary Ecology and Physiology (LPDEP). Dr. Ballare works on projects that revolve around the central theme of how and why organisms acquire and select the food resources they need for survival. In addition to regularly quantifying biological samples (i.e., urine, saliva, feces, etc.) for health biomarkers from human and non-human primates, amongst other animals (e.g., whale baleen), Dr. Ballare maintains and organizes the LPDEP database, analyzes data in ‘R’, and trains undergraduate and graduate students, visiting scientists, and faculty.


    Dr. Elizabeth F. Ballare is a behavioral ecologist and conservation physiologist interested in the endocrinological and immunological health of captive, rehabilitant, reintroduced, and wild apes.