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Anthropology and Museum Studies

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Mary Lee Jensvold

Senior Lecturer

Ph.D. Experimental Psychology, University of Nevada, 1996
M.S. Experimental Psychology, Central Washington University, 1989
B.A. Psychology, University of Oregon, 1985


(see CV)

Research Interests:

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

Affiliations and Appointments


Jensvold, M.L. (2020).  Conversations with Chimpanzees:  What They’ve Told Me.  In D. Rosen (Ed.), The chimpanzee chronicles (p. 235-250). Santa Fe, NM: Wild Soul Press.

Jensvold, M.L. (Ed.) (2019). Chimpanzee Behavior: Recent Understandings from Captivity and the Forest. New York: Nova Science Publisher.

Casti, A., Martinson J., & Jensvold, M.L. (2019). Patterns in Chimpanzee Marking and Drawing. In M.L. Jensvold (Ed.) Chimpanzee behavior: Recent understandings from captivity and the forest (p. 95-140). New York: Nova Science Publisher.

Jensvold, M.L., & Dombrausky, D. (2019). Sign Language in Chimpanzees Across Environments. In M.L. Jensvold (Ed.) Chimpanzee behavior: Recent understandings from captivity and the forest (p. 141-174). New York: Nova Science Publisher.

Jensvold, M.L. (2019). Relationships Between Caregivers and Chimpanzee Sanctuary Residents. In M.L. Jensvold (Ed.) Chimpanzee behavior: Recent understandings from captivity and the forest (p. 175-198). New York: Nova Science Publisher.

Jensvold, M. L. (2018). Lessons from chimpanzee sign language studies. Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling, 2(20), 17.

Davis, A. & Jensvold, M.L. (2017).  The Effects of Conversational Partner Familiarity in Deaf Signers. In R. Louis (Ed.). New Research on Sign Language (pp. 83-104). Nova Science Publishers.

Jensvold, M.L. (2017). Ape Language. A. Fuentes (Ed.). International Encyclopedia of Primatology. Wiley. DOI: 10.1002/9781119179313.wbprim0462

Mulcahy, J. B., & Jensvold, M. L. (2015). Toward a common goal: Opportunities for collaboration between primate sanctuaries and universities. American Journal of Primatology, 77, 55-56. 

Egan, T.E. & Jensvold, M.L. (2015).  Pretend Play in Signing Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes).  In T. Wagner, (Ed.), Animal communication and cognition:  Principles, evolution, and development (pp. 57-85).  New York:  Nova.

Jensvold, M.L. (2014).  Experimental Conversations:  Sign Language Studies with Chimpanzees.  In N. Gontier & O. Pombo (Eds.), The evolution of social communication in primates – a multidisciplinary approach (pp. 63-82).  Switzerland: Springer.

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.

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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