MEGAN PETERSDORF
megan.petersdorf@nyu.edu
Department of Anthropology • New York University
New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology

EDUCATION
2013 - present PhD candidate, Biological Anthropology
New York University
Advisor: Dr. James Higham
Dissertation: “Sexual selection in the little-known Kinda baboon (Papio kindae)”

2016 MA, Biological Anthropology
New York University
Advisor: Dr. James Higham
Thesis: "Is the red facial coloration of male rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) subject to intra-sexual selection?"

2012 MRes, Primate Biology, Behaviour, and Conservation, distinction
University of Roehampton, London
Advisor: Dr. Caroline Ross
Thesis: "Sexual swelling symmetry, individual quality, and attractiveness in wild female olive baboons (Papio anubis)"

2009 BA, Biological Anthropology
University of California, San Diego

PUBLICATIONS
Peer-reviewed journal articles
2019 Petersdorf M, Weyher AH, Kamilar JM, Dubuc C, Higham JP. (2019). Sexual selection in the Kinda baboon. Journal of Human Evolution 135: 102635 (download).
2017 Petersdorf M, Dubuc C, Georgiev AG, Winters S, Higham JP. (2017). Is male rhesus macaque facial coloration under intrasexual selection? Behavioral Ecology 28: 1472-1481. (download)
2016 Dubuc C, Allen WL, Cascio J, Lee DS, Maestripieri D, Petersdorf M, Winters S, Higham JP. (2016). Who cares? Experimental attention biases provide new insights into a mammalian sexual signal. Behavioral Ecology 27: 68-74. (download)
2016 Sommer V, Lowe A, Jesus G, Alberts N, Bouquet Y, Petersdorf M, MacGregor Inglis D, Ross C. (2016). Antelope predation by Nigerian forest baboons: ecological and behavioural correlates. Folia Primatoligica 87: 67-90. (download)

Book chapters and Encyclopedia entries
2019 Winters S, Petersdorf M, Higham JP. (2019). Charles Darwin and selection in relation to sex in colors of monkeys. In: DS Wilson, G Geher, H Mativetsky, AC Gallup (Eds), Darwin’s Roadmap to the Curriculum: Evolutionary Studies in Higher Education (pp. 97-116). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. (read)
2018 Petersdorf M & Higham JP. (2018). Mating systems, Primates. In: The International Encyclopedia of Biological Anthropology. (ed. W Trevathan). John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
2017 Higham JP & Petersdorf M. (2017). Sexual swellings. In: The International Encyclopedia of Primatology. Wiley Blackwell: Hoboken, NJ. (download)
2017 Petersdorf M & Higham JP. (2017). Mating systems. In: The International Encyclopedia of Primatology. Wiley Blackwell: Hoboken, NJ. (download)

Book and conference reviews
2016 DeCasien AR, Evans KD, Fuong H, Lee DS, Petersdorf M, Petersen RM, Shackelford CM. (2016). Crickette M. Sanz, Josep Call, and Christophe Boesch (Eds): Tool Use in Animals: Cognition and Ecology. International Journal of Primatology 37: 608-611. (download)
2015 Petersdorf M & Higham JP. (2015). Katja Liebal, Bridget M. Waller, Anne M. Burrows, Katie E. Slocombe: Primate Communication: A Multimodal Approach. International Journal of Primatology 36: 1055-1059. (download)
2014 Winters S, Dunayer ES, Petersdorf M, Simons ND, Tinsman J. (2014) Primatology and Conservation in Hanoi, Vietnam. Evolutionary Anthropology 23: 201-204. (download)

FELLOWSHIPS
2019 - 2020 P.E.O. Scholar Award
2019 New York University, Global Research Institute Fellowship, Berlin, Germany
2018    DAAD German Academic Exchange Fellowship    
2017 - 2018    U.S. Fulbright Student Program, Zambia
2013 - 2019    New York University, MacCracken Fellowship
2011 - 2012    University of Roehampton, Vice Chancellor’s Scholarship
2008    San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, Student Fellowship

RESEARCH GRANTS
2017    National Science Foundation: Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant ($25,186)
2017    The Leakey Foundation, General Research Grant ($14,880)
2017    American Society of Mammalogists, Grant-In-Aid of Research ($1,450)
2017    The Explorer’s Club, Exploration Fund Grant ($1,000)
2017    Society for Integrative & Comparative Biology, Grant-in-Aid of Research ($967)
2016    Sigma Xi: The Scientific Research Society, Grant-in-Aid of Research ($970)
2015    American Association of University Women, DAW-CA Scholarship ($2,200)
2015    National Science Foundation IGERT, NYCEP Pilot Research Funds ($3,000)

TRAVEL GRANTS
2019 American Association of Physical Anthropologists, William S. Pollitzer Travel Award ($500)
2018    International Society for Behavioral Ecology, Conference Travel Award ($500)
2016    International Society for Behavioral Ecology, Conference Travel Award ($1,450)
2016    New York University, GSAS Dean’s Student Travel Grant ($500)
2015    New York University, GSAS Dean’s Student Travel Grant ($500)

AWARDS
2017    Dean’s Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award in Social Sciences, New York University
2015    Primate Interest Group Award, Student Presentation Competition, 84th annual meeting of American Association of Physical Anthropologists
2013    Student Presentation Award, 11th annual meeting of the Primate Ecology & Genetics Group, South Africa
2012    Dept. of Life Sciences Award for Postgraduate Achievement, University of Roehampton

FIELD EXPERIENCE
Skills
: Behavioral data collection (software: prim8, observer, cybertracker), photogrammetry (parallel lasers, rangefinder, DSLR camera), audio recording of vocalizations, fecal sample collection and processing for DNA, hormone, and parasite analysis, camera traps, game count surveys.
2017 - 2018 Kasanka Baboon Project; Kasanka National Park, Zambia
PhD dissertation fieldwork on Kinda baboons. April 2017-May 2018
2015 Kasanka Baboon Project; Kasanka National Park, Zambia
PhD dissertation pilot fieldwork on Kinda baboons. June-August 2015
2014 . Kafue National Park, Zambia
PhD dissertation pilot fieldwork on Kinda baboons. May-June 2014
2013 Thanda Private Game Reserve, South Africa
Research manager for the Space for Elephants Foundation. January-August 2013
2012 Gashaka Primate Project; Gashaka-Gumti National Park, Nigeria
MRes thesis fieldwork. March-May 2012
2010 Wildcliff Nature Reserve, South Africa
Field assistant for chacma baboon nutritional ecology project. March-July 2010

LABORATORY EXPERIENCE
2018 Endocrinology Laboratory, German Primate Center
Extraction (feces), EnzymeImmunoAssay
2016 - 2017 Dominguez-Bello Microbiome Laboratory, New York University School of Medicine
Extraction (saliva, vaginal), 16S rRNA sequencing
2015 - present Molecular Anthropology Laboratory, New York University
Extraction (feces, saliva), quantification (Qubit/qPCR), PCR, microsatellites, FecalSeq enrichment, ddRADSeq, MiSeq sequencing
2008 San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research (Endocrinology Laboratory)
Extraction (feces), RadioImmunoAssay

OTHER RESEARCH EXPERIENCE
2019 MATLAB Training Courses
MATLAB Fundamentals (online), Image Processing with MATLAB (in-person)
2018 Cognitive Ethology Laboratory, German Primate Center
Acoustic analyses: Avisoft-SAS Lab Pro
2014 - 2016 Primate Reproductive Ecology & Evolution, New York University
Looking-time experiment video coding; Color measurement image coding
2014 Evolutionary Morphology Laboratory, New York University
Cranio-facial linear morphological measurements
2012 Centre for Research in Evolutionary & Environmental Anthropology, University of Roehampton
ImageJ: digital linear measurements, fluctuating asymmetry analysis
2009 - 2010 UC San Diego Autism Center of Excellence
Behavior experiment video coding
2008 - 2009 Cognitive Science Department, UC San Diego
Frame-by-frame video coding of behavior and eye-tracking

CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS
Petersdorf M, 
Higham JP, Burrell AS, Trujillo AE, Weyher AH. (2019). Female reproductive synchrony and male reproductive skew in a seasonally-breeding baboon. Wildlife Research and Conservation, Berlin, Germany. [podium presentation]

Petersdorf M, Higham JP, Burrell AS, Weyher AH. (2019). Female reproductive synchrony and male reproductive skew in a seasonally-breeding baboon. Joint meeting of the 56th Annual Conference of the Animal Behavior Society and the 36th International Ethological Conference, Chicago IL, USA. [poster presentation]

Petersdorf M, 
Higham JP, Weyher AH. (2019). The reproductive ecology of the Kinda baboon: female synchrony and male reproductive skew. 88th annual meeting of The American Association of Physical Anthropologists, Cleveland OH, USA. [poster presentation] (read abstract)

Petersdorf M, Weyher AH, Dubuc C, Higham JP. (2018). Determining total sexual selection: a case study in a non-human primate. 17th Congress of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology, Minneapolis MN. [podium presentation]

Petersdorf M, Higham JP, Phillips-Conroy JE, Rogers J, Jolly CJ. (2016). Sexual dimorphism and testis volume across Papio: where do Kinda baboons fit in? 2nd annual meeting of the Northeastern Evolutionary Primatologists, New York City NY, USA. [podium presentation]

Petersdorf M, Georgiev AV, Winters S, Maestripieri D, Dubuc C, Higham JP. (2016). Is the red facial coloration of male rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) subject to intra-sexual selection? International Primatological Society XVII, Chicago IL, USA. [podium presentation]

Petersdorf M, Dubuc C, Higham JP. (2016). Intra-sexual selection and male rhesus macaque facial coloration. 16th Congress of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology, Exeter, UK. [podium presentation]

Petersdorf M, Higham JP, Williams SA. (2015). What can the skeleton tell us about flanging? Hard-tissue markers of cheek flanges in Mandrillus. 84th annual meeting of The American Association of Physical Anthropologists, St. Louis MO, USA. [poster*student award (read abstract)

Petersdorf M & Ross C. (2014). Sexual swelling symmetry and social attractiveness in wild female olive baboons (Papio anubis). Inaugural Meeting of the Northeastern Evolutionary Primatologists, New Brunswick NJ, USA. [poster]

Petersdorf M & Ross C. (2013). Sexual swelling symmetry and social attractiveness in wild female olive baboons (Papio anubis) at Gashaka-Gumti National Park. 11th Annual Meeting Primate Ecology & Genetics Group, Tsitsikamma, South Africa. [podium presentation] *student award

INVITED TALKS
2019
New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology, New York NY, USA
2018
Centre for Research in Ecology, Evolution, and Behaviour, University of Roehampton, London, UK
2018
BeCog Colloquium, German Primate Center, Göttingen, Germany
2017
New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology, New York NY, USA
2015 New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology, New York NY, USA
2014 New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology, New York NY, USA

TEACHING EXPERIENCE
Course Instructor
Summer 2019 “Human Evolution,” New York University

Teaching Assistant (laboratory sections)
Spring 2019 “Human Evolution,” New York University
Fall 2016  “Human Evolution,” New York University
Fall 2015  “Human Evolution,” New York University
Spring 2015  “Human Origins,” New York University

Guest Lecturer
Spring 2019 Life History and Demography, “Primate Behavioral Ecology,” New York University
Fall 2018 Primate Sexual Signals, “Primate Sexuality,” Columbia University
Fall 2015  Primate Behavior, “Human Evolution,” New York University
Fall 2015 Classification of Multimodal Signals, “Primate Communication,” New York University
Fall 2015  Primate Sexual Selection & Mating Systems, “Introduction to Human Evolution,” Hunter College CUNY
Spring 2015  Primate Sexual Selection & Mating Systems, “Introduction to Human Evolution,” Hunter College CUNY

MENTORSHIP
2019 - present
Ruby Mustill (Columbia undergraduate), research intern
2019
Yovanna Smith & Gabrielle Piña (NYU ARISE high school program) “Fertility signals in female Kinda baboons”
2019
Nini K. (High Schooler, Tbilisi, Georgia), NYAS 1000 Girls 1000 Futures
2018
Deanna Hartog (NYU undergraduate), genetics laboratory training
2018 Djemila Compaore (NYU ARISE high school program) "The evolution of lip-smacking in the history of primate evolution"
2018 Madison Mushnick (NYU ARISE high school program) "Grooming and relatedness in Kinda baboons"
2017 - 2018 Field advising and training: Zambian research scout (Simon Siame) and field assistants (Alison Govaerts, Jessica Gunson)
2016 - 2017 Undergraduate student interns, rhesus macaque facial coloration measurements: Constanza Galindo (2016), Flavia Stanton (2016), Judy Dang (2017)
2014 - 2016 Grace Passannante, Kelly Heinzerling (High school science research program) “The effect of zoo visitors on the behavior and stereotypies of gorillas in captivity”

OUTREACH
2014 - present Social media: Blogs (owner: meganinafrica.tumblr.com; contributor: blog.nycep.org); Twitter (@meganpetersdorf)
2017 - 2018 Conservation Education Club; Mpelembe Secondary School, Zambia
2017 - 2018 High School PenPal Project; Mpelembe Secondary School (Zambia) & San Ramon Valley High School (USA)
2017 - 2018 Women's english/math literacy program; Kasanka Baboon Project, Zambia
2017 Guest speaker, "Kinda baboons in Kasanka." Lusaka International School; Kasanka National Park, Zambia
2016 Career Day speaker, Bedford-Stuyvesant Charter School
2016 @Biotweeps Twitter science communication
2015 - 2016 Panelist, New York University Undergraduate Women in Science events
2014 - 2016 Guest speaker, GOALS for Girls, Intrepid Museum
2015 Judge, New York High School Science & Engineering Fair
2015 Judge, CUNY Hunter College Undergraduate Anthropology Conference
2013 Community conservation and education projects; Project Rhino, South Africa
2013 Guest speaker, South African Ecology field school (UConn/Nature Guide Training)
2011 - 2012 Teacher for after-school science clubs; Mother Nature Education, London UK
2010 - 2011 Volunteer Outreach Coordinator, Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots in Northern California

SERVICE
2018 - present Reviewer: American Journal of Primatology, Animal Behaviour, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, International Journal of Primatology, Frontiers in Zoology
2014 - 2017  Executive Committee, Northeastern Evolutionary Primatologists
2014 - present  Twitter (@CSHO_NYU@NEevolprimatol); Webmaster (nyuprimatology.comneevolprimatol.org)
2013 - present  Founder, NYCEP student club

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS
American Association of Physical Anthropologists
Animal Behavior Society
American Society of Mammalogists
American Society of Primatologists
Graduate Women in Science
International Society for Behavioral Ecology
International Primatological Society
Northeastern Evolutionary Primatologists
Primate Ecology and Genetics Group South Africa
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology