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Primate Behavior and Ecology
Dr. April Binder, Director
(509) 963-2803

Ms. Penelope Anderson, Secretary Senior

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Graduate Cohorts

Graduate Cohort 2022

2022 Graduate Cohort

Alister Brown, B.A. Psychology, University of Arkansas 

Faculty advisors: Dr. Kara Gabriel

Research interests: Effects of environmental stressors (mainly human related eg. deforestation, hunting, tourism) on primate social behaviors

Other interests: running, rock climbing, hiking and annoying my dog


Kalila Garrison, B.A. Anthropology, Colorado State University 

Faculty advisor: Dr. Nicole Jastremski

Research interests: Primate osteology, evolution, and comparative hominid anatomy

Other interests: Drawing, roller skating, crocheting, horror movies, and nature



photo of Dakota Hogan

Dakota Hogan, B.A. Anthropology, B.S. Primate Behavior and Ecology, Central Washington University

Faculty advisor: Dr. Lori Sheeran

Research interests: Establishing population density and ecology predictions on the newly recognized macaque species the Arunachal macaque (Macaca munzala) in Bhutan after its recent sighting in the Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary in 2019 

Other interests: Hiking, crochet, Mahayana Buddhism, house plants, and rock climbing!


Randi Olson, B.A. Anthropology, University of Northern Colorado

Faculty advisor: Dr. Lori Sheeran

Research interests: Caregiver and captive primate relationships. Inital caregiver introduction methods and caregiver roles in social enrichment for captive chimpanzees.

Other interests: Hiking and exploring National Parks



Jessica Oscavich, B.S. Small Animal Science, Delaware Valley University

Faculty advisor: Dr. April Binder

Research interests: Welfare of nonhuman primates in biomedical research, environmental enrichment, stereotypic behaviors, Macaca fascicularis, the human-animal bond, compassion fatigue

Other interests: Trying new coffee shops and restaurants, listening to podcasts, going to concerts, the paranormal, true crime



Katelyn Seymour, B.A. Psychology, Waynesburg University

Faculty advisor: Dr. Mary Lee Jensvold

Research interests: Comparative psychology, primate cognition, animal behavior, learning and intelligence

Other interests: Painting, ceramics, reading, music, baking, visiting museums and zoos

Graduate Cohort 2021

2021 Graduate Cohort

Kristy Abney, B.S. Biology, Allen University 

Faculty advisors: Dr. Kara Gabriel and Dr. Mary Radeke

Research interests: Antipredator behavior, parental investment, and conservation

Other interests: Hiking, crocheting, true crime documentaries

Photo of Taylor Barber

Taylor Barber, B.A. Anthropology, University of California - Santa Cruz 

Faculty advisor: Dr. Kara Gabriel

Research interests: Primate populations in coffee growing regions, conservation

Other interests: Traveling, reading, Star Wars, and playing with my cat

photo of Jocelyn Callahan

Josie Callahan, B.A. Philosophy and Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh

Faculty advisor: Dr. Matthew Altman & Dr. Lori Sheeran

Research interests: Philosophy (particularly phenomenology & existentialism), human-primate relations, extinction

Other interests: My cats, the X-Files, anything that involves Beyoncé, and going on adventures with my best friend!


Lilith Frakes, B.A. Anthropology and Comparative Literature, Stanford University

Faculty advisor: Dr. Jessica Mayhew

Research interests: Primate psychology, social behavior, and conservation

Other interests: Art, religious anthropology, and anthropogeny


Benjamin Lake, B.A. Biology, Illinois State University

Faculty advisor: Dr. Kara Gabriel and Dr. Jessica Mayhew

Research interests: Primate Cognition and Welfare, Chimpanzees, Thermal imaging, and Eye Tracking

Other interests: Live music, hiking, beer, working out, dogs, snakes, Star Wars and football

Photo of Payton Livingston

Payton Livingston, B.A. Psychology, Sociology, and Social Science, University of Sioux Falls

Faculty advisor: Dr. Mary Radeke

Research interests: Evolutionary Psychology

Other interests: Golfing, playing pickleball, coaching and playing baseball, biking, and reading

Photo of Naylea Lopez

Naylea Lopez, B.A. Anthroplogy, California State University - Fullerton

Faculty advisor: Dr. Mary Lee Jensvold

Research interests: Cognition, communication, anthropogenic effects on primates, and behavioral differences between captive and non-captive primates

Other interests: Traveling, scuba diving, trying out new food places, and learning about all animals in the world


Amanda Pauli, B.A. Art, California State University - East Bay

Faculty advisor: Dr. Mary Lee Jensvold

Research interests: Primate care and enrichment, particularly chimpanzee introduction techniques

Other interests: Pottery, figure drawing, vegetable gardening, river floats


Desiree Peck, B.S. Zoology, Weber State University

Faculty advisor: Dr. Kara Gabriel

Research interests: Cognitive capabilities of small bodied apes

Other interests: Hiking with my dogs, hanging out with my birds and playing guitar

Photo of Miarisoa Ramilison

Miarisoa Ramilison, M.S. Zoology, University of Mahajanga, Madagascar

Faculty advisor: Dr. Lixing Sun

Research interests: Primate behavior, conservation, social network analysis, parasitology & disease ecology

Other interests: Traveling, hiking, camping, music


Virginia Sanchez, B.A. Anthropology, California State University - East Bay

Faculty advisor: Dr. Lori Sheeran

Research interests: Human and chimpanzee interactions. Focusing on conservation through understanding the main threats to wild chimpanzees and finding solutions to urgent needs of community memebrs to promote co-exsistence with wild chimpanzees.

Other interests: Snowboarding, reading, going to concerts, and spending time with family and friends


Mia Sarkisian, B.A. Biology, B.A. Anthropology, Bridgewater State University

Faculty advisor: Dr. Jessica Mayhew

Research interests: Ape mothering and social development, inter-species interactions, behavioral ecology, rehabilitation and reintroduction

Other interests: Drawing, live music and watching romcoms

Photo of Ember Toth

Ember Toth, B.A. Biology, Franklin and Marshall College

Faculty advisor: Dr. Jessica Mayhew

Research interests: Animal welfare, animal behavior, enrichment and training, captive primate care, human-primate social interactions, primate cognition

Other interests: Hanging out with my pets, watching hockey, visiting zoos, Greek and Roman mythology

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