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Melissa Emery Thompson

Associate Professor
Co-Director, Comparative Human and Primate Physiology Center

Photo: Melissa Emery Thompson

Evolutionary Anthropology

At UNM since 
Curriculum vitae

Recent Courses:

  • Human Life Course (ANTH 160)
  • Human Behavioral Ecology (ANTH 360)
  • Great Apes: Mind and Behavior (ANTH 362/662)


Emory University, Anthropology & Human Biology, BS summa cum laude 1997

Harvard University, Anthropology, MA 2000

Harvard University, Anthropology, PhD 2005
Dissertation: “Endocrinology and Ecology of Wild Female Chimpanzee Reproduction”


Reproductive ecology, behavioral endocrinology, primate behavioral ecology, evolution of human behavior, life history.

Recent Publications:

2017    Emery Thompson, M and PT Ellison. Fertility and fecundity. Chimpanzees and Human Evolution. Edited by MN Muller, RW Wrangham, and D Pilbeam. Harvard University Press, pp. 217-258.

2017    Emery Thompson, M. Energetics of feeding, behavior, and life history. Hormones and Behavior 91: 84-96.

2016    Emery Thompson, M, MN Muller, K Sabbi, ZP Machanda, E Otali, and RW Wrangham. Faster reproductive rates trade off against offspring growth in wild chimpanzees. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 113: 7780-7785.

2014    Emery Thompson, M, MN Muller, and RW Wrangham. Male chimpanzees compromise the foraging success of their mates in Kibale National Park, Uganda. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology68: 1973-1983.

2014    Emery Thompson, M, and AV Georgiev. The high price of success: costs of mating effort in male primates. International Journal of Primatology 35: 609-627.

2013    Emery Thompson, M. Comparative reproductive energetics of human and non-human primates. Annual Review of Anthropology42: 287-304.

2013    Emery Thompson, M. Reproductive ecology of wild female chimpanzees. American Journal of Primatology75: 222-237.