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

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

Petersdorf M, Dubuc C, Georgiev AG, Winters S, Higham JP. Exploring mechanisms of sexual selection acting on a primate color signal (In review)

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)

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

Winters S, Petersdorf M, Higham JP. (2018). Charles Darwin and selection in relation to sex in colors of monkeys. In: Evolutionary Studies: Darwin’s Roadmap to the Curriculum. Oxford University Press. (In Press)

Petersdorf M & Higham JP. (2018). Mating systems, Primates. In: The International Encyclopedia of Biological Anthropology. (ed. W Trevathan). John Wiley and Sons, Inc. (In press)

Petersdorf M & Higham JP. (2017). Mating systems. In: The International Encyclopedia of Primatology. Wiley Blackwell: Hoboken, NJ. (In press)

Higham JP & Petersdorf M. (2017). Sexual swellings. In: The International Encyclopedia of Primatology. Wiley Blackwell: Hoboken, NJ. (In press)

Book and conference reviews

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)

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)

Winters S, Dunayer ES, Petersdorf M, Simons ND, Tinsman J. (2014) Primatology and Conservation in Hanoi, Vietnam. Evolutionary Anthropology 23: 201-204. (download)

Published abstracts

Petersdorf M, Higham JP, Williams SA. (2015). What can the skeleton tell us about flanging? Hard-tissue markers of cheek flanges in Mandrillus [abstract]. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 156(S60): 251-252. (download)

In Preparation

Phillips-Conroy JE, Jolly CJ, Petersdorf M, Rogers J. Testicular size and sexual dimorphism in Kinda baboons (Papio kindae)

GRANTS & FELLOWSHIPS
2013 - present MacCracken Fellowship, New York University
2017 - present  Fulbright Fellowship, Zambia
2017 Grant-In-Aid of Research, The Society for Integrative & Comparative Biology ($967)
2016 Grant-In-Aid of Research, Sigma Xi: The Scientific Research Society ($970)
2016 Conference Travel Award, International Society for Behavioral Ecology ($1,450)
2016 GSAS Dean’s Student Travel Grant, New York University ($500)
2015 GSAS Dean’s Student Travel Grant, New York University ($500)
2015 Local Scholarship, American Association of University Women ($2,200)
2015 Pilot Research, National Science Foundation IGERT ($3,000)
2011 - 2012 Vice Chancellor’s Scholarship, University of Roehampton
2008 Student Fellowship, San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research

AWARDS
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

RESEARCH & FIELD EXPERIENCE
2016 - present The reproductive ecology of the little-known Kinda baboon (PhD dissertation). Advisor: J Higham; Committee: C Jolly, T Disotell
2016 - present The guenon microbiome. Supervisors: MG Dominguez-Bello, J Higham
2015 - present Exploring mechanisms of sexual selection acting on a primate color signal. Supervisors: J Higham, C Dubuc
2015 Pilot field research on Kinda baboons in Kasanka National Park, Zambia
2014 Osteological markers of cheek flanges in Mandrillus. Supervisors: S Williams, J Higham
2014 Lab training internship, Molecular Primatology Lab. PI: T Disotell
2014 Exploratory field work on Kinda baboons in Kafue & Kasanka National Parks, Zambia
2014 Male and female facial color ornamentation in rhesus macaques. Research assistant, PI: C Dubuc
2013 Longitudinal social effects of PZP vaccine contraception on wild African elephants in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
2012 Sexual swelling symmetry, individual quality, and attractiveness in wild female olive baboons. Advisor: C Ross
2010 Spatial and nutritional ecology of chacma baboons in Western Cape, South Africa. Field assistant, PI: P Pebsworth
2009 - 2010 Early behavioral markers of Autism Spectrum Disorder in children 12-36 months, UC San Diego Autism Center of Excellence
2008 - 2009 Gestural communication and social coordination in captive bonobos. Research assistant, PI: C Johnson
2008 Socio-endocrinology of captive female cheetahs: effects of group housing on reproductive suppression. Supervisors: F Bercovitch, M Anderson

CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS
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. [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. [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. [poster*student award

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. [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

Ross C, Petersdorf M, Bailey E. (2013). Parasites, symmetry, and sociality: what baboons can reveal. The Fifth Gashaka Field Day, London UK. 

TEACHING EXPERIENCE
Fall 2016 Adjunct Instructor, “Human Evolution,” New York University
Fall 2015 Adjunct Instructor, “Human Evolution,” New York University
Fall 2015 Guest lecturer, Primate Behavior, “Human Evolution,” New York University
Fall 2015 Guest lecturer, Classification of Multimodal Signals, “Primate Communication,” New York University
Spring 2015 Adjunct Instructor, “Human Origins,” New York University
Spring 2015, Fall 2015 Guest lecturer, Primate Sexual Selection & Mating Systems, “Introduction to Human Evolution,” Hunter College CUNY

OUTREACH
2016 - present Supervisor, undergraduate interns: Constanza Galindo (2016), Flavia Stanton (2016), Judy Deng (2017)
2015 - present Mentor, NYU undergraduate Women in Science program
2014 - 2016 Mentor, 2-year high school science research program (Grace P. and Kelly H.)
2014 - 2015 Mentor, GOALS for Girls, Intrepid Museum
2016 Biotweeps science communication
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
2014 - 2017 Executive Committee, Northeastern Evolutionary Primatologists
2014 - present Blogs (contributor: blog.nycep.org); Twitter (@meganpetersdorf@CSHO_NYU@NEevolprimatol); Webmaster (nyuprimatology.comneevolprimatol.org)
2013 - present Coordinator, 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