Ancestors Lecture: Lesser Apes? What Can Female Chimpanzees Tell Us About Human Evolution? presented by Dr. Melissa Emery Thompson


Photo by Nick Brazeau

Start Date: Jan 31, 2019 - 07:30pm

Location: Hibben Center 105

On Thursday, January 31 at 7:30 PM in Hibben Lecture Hall 105, Dr. Melissa Emery Thompson will present the annual Ancestors Lecture.  Her talk, entitled Lesser Apes? What Can Female Chimpanzees Tell Us About Human Evolution? will present research conducted by the Kibale Chimpanzee Project, based in Uganda, Africa.  Dr. Emery Thompson is an Associate Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology and Co-Director of the Comparative Human and Primate Physiology Center in the Department of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico. 

The great apes are powerful references for examining the evolutionary origins of human behavior. Comparisons with our closest living relatives, chimpanzees, have often focused on the behavior of males who engage in ostentatious displays, frequent aggression, and sophisticated cooperative behavior. The social lives of female chimpanzees are decidedly subtler and deviate in important ways from other primates. Drawing extensively on the work by UNM faculty and students affiliated with the Kibale Chimpanzee Project, I explore the behavior of female chimpanzee across the lifespan, addressing how parallels and contrasts with humans can inform our understanding of the evolution of human behavior. (Photo by Nick Brazeau)