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Anthropology and Museum Studies

Mary Lee Jensvold

Mary Lee Jensvold

Associate Professor 

Office: Dean Hall, Rm 343
Phone: 963-2215
Fax: 963-3215
Email: Mary Lee Jensvold


  • Ph.D. Experimental Psychology, 1996, University of Nevada, Reno, NV
  • M.S., Experimental Psychology, 1989, Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA
  • B.A., Psychology, 1985, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR

Research Interests:

Chimpanzee sign language studies; ape behavior, communication, & culture; chimpanzee care & enrichment; non-verbal behavior


  • PRIM 220 Introduction to Primate Laboratory Experience
  • PRIM 320 Directed Research
  • PRIM 504 Primate Culture and Cognition
  • PRIM 513 Research Methods in Primatology
  • ANTH 313 Primate Social Behavior
  • ANTH /COMM 380 Nonverbal Communication
  • ANTH 413 Research Methods in Primatology
  • ANTH 416 Pongid Behavior
  • ANTH 498 Special Topics: Chimpanzee Culture and Communication
  • ANTH 496 Advanced Readings in Nonverbal Behavior
  • PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology
  • PSY 447 Psychology of Adolescence
  • PSY 473 Psychology of Thought and Language
  • PSY 495C Research Experience
  • PSY 595 CHCI Graduate Research Experience

Affiliations and Appointments:

Recent Select Publications, Exhibits, and other Creative Work:

  • Jensvold, M.L., Wilding, L., Schulze, S.M. (2014).  Signs of Communication in Chimpanzees.  G. Witzany (Ed.), Biocommunication of animals (pp. 7-19).  Dordrecht: Springer.
  • Leeds, C.A. & Jensvold, M.L (2013) The communicative functions of five signing chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Pragmatics & Cognition 21:1, 224-247.
  • McCarthy, M., Jensvold, M.L., & Fouts, D.H. (2012).  Use of gesture sequences in captive chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) play. Animal Cognition, 16(3), 471-481. doi: 10.1007/s10071-012-0587-6
  • Leitten, L., Jensvold, M.L., Fouts, R., & Wallin, J.  (2012).  Contingency in requests of signing chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes).  Interaction Studies, 13, 147-164.
  • Jensvold, M.L., Buckner, J., & Stadtner, G. (2010).  Caregiver-chimpanzee interactions with species-specific behaviors.  Interaction Studies. Special Issue of Human-Animal Interactions, 11, 396-409.
  • Jensvold, M.L. (2008).  Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) responses to caregiver use of chimpanzee behaviors.  Zoo Biology, 27, 345-359.
  • Jensvold, M.L., & Gardner, R.A. (2007).  Conversational use of sign language by cross-fostered chimpanzees. In F.R. Lewis (Ed.), Focus on non-verbal communication research (pp. 237-279). Hauppauge, NY:  Nova Science Publishers.
  • Jensvold, M.L., & Fouts, R.S. (2008). Learning from Chimpanzees: Internships at the Chimpanzee & Human Communication Institute. In R. L. Miller, R. F. Rycek, E. Balcetis, S. T. Barney, B. C. Beins, S. R. Burns, R. Smith, & M. E. Ware (Eds.), Developing, promoting, & sustaining the undergraduate research experience in psychology (pp. 172-176). Retrieved from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology Web site:
  • Jensvold, M.L. (2007). Promoting positive interactions between chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and caregivers. Laboratory Primate Newsletter, 46, 1-4.
  • Jensvold, M.L., & Sheeran, L.S. (2006). Ape cognition. In H. J. Birx (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Anthropology. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Jensvold, M.L., Field, A., Cranford, J., Fouts, R.S., & Fouts, D.H. (2005). Incidence of wounding within a group of five signing chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Laboratory Primate Newsletter, 44, 5-7.
  • Fouts, R., Jensvold, M.L. & Fouts, D. (2004). Talking chimpanzees. In M. Bekoff (Ed.) Encyclopedia of animal behavior (pp. 324-327). Westport, CN: Greenwood Publishing Group.
  • Jensvold, M.L., Fouts, R.S., & Fouts, D.H. (2004). Assessment of species typical behaviours in captive chimpanzees. Animal Welfare, 13, S245.
  • Fouts, R.S., & Jensvold, M.L.A. (2002). Armchair delusions vs. empirical realities: A neurological model for the continuity of ape and human languaging. In M. Goodman & A.S. Moffat (Eds.), Probing Human Origins (pp. 87-101). American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
  • Fouts, R.S. Jensvold, M.L.A., & Fouts, D.H. (2002). Chimpanzee signing: Darwinian realities and Cartesian delusions. In M. Bekoff, C. Allen, & G. Burghardt (Eds.). The cognitive animal: Empirical and theoretical perspectives in animal cognition (pp. 285-292). MIT Press.
  • Jensvold, M.L.A., Sanz, C.M., Fouts, R.S., & Fouts, D.H. (2001). The effect of enclosure size and complexity on the behaviors of captive chimpanzees(Pan troglodytes). Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 4, 53-69.
  • Sanz, C.M., & Jensvold, M.L.A. (2001). Chimpanzee. In C. Bell (Ed.), Encyclopedia of the world's zoos (pp. 248-253). Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn.
  • Jensvold, M.L.A., & Gardner, R.A. (2000). Interactive use of sign language by cross-fostered chimpanzees. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 114, 335-346.
  • Jensvold, M.L.A. (2000). A review of Apes, Language, and the Human Mind. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 4, 277-281.
  • Jensvold, M.L.A., & Fouts, R.S. (1993). Imaginary play in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Human Evolution, 8, 217-227.
  • Jensvold , M.L.A., & Fouts, R.S. (1994). Behavioral changes in chimpanzees following a move to a larger facility [Abstract]. American Journal of Primatology, 33, 218.
  • Fouts, R.S., Abshire (Jensvold), M.L., Bodamer, M., & Fouts, D.H. (1989). Signs of enrichment: Toward the psychological well-being of chimpanzees. In E.F. Segal (Ed.), Housing care and psychological wellbeing of captive and laboratory primates (pp. 376-388). New Jersey: Noyes.

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