Advisor: Dr. Erin Vogel
I graduated cum laude from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2013 with a B.A. in Anthropology, and I received my M.A. in anthropology from Iowa State University in 2018. I joined the PhD program at Rutgers in the Fall of 2018.
Primate evolutionary ecology, plant-primate interactions, diet and nutrition, parasitology
I am interested in primate feeding ecology and how primate feeding affects their plant food resources. I have conducted research on how vervet monkeys use cognitive heuristics to solve foraging problems, and my master’s thesis examined how western chimpanzees promote the regeneration of their plant food resources through seed dispersal.
My doctoral research will focus on understanding how primates select diets that balance nutrient intake with coping with plant secondary compounds and infection of internal parasites. I intend to collect data on the feeding behavior, health status and internal parasite loads of wild Bornean orangutans along with the nutritional and metabolomic content of their plant foods. Because there is strong selection pressure on animals to acquire food and also to avoid and remedy the infection of parasites, this research will be germane towards understanding primate evolution more broadly