Sep 24, 2023  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Primate Behavior and Ecology Program

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College of the Sciences
Dean Hall, room 357A

Fax: 509-963-3215
    See website for how this program may be used for educational and career purposes.

Program Director
Jessica A. Mayhew, PhD, anthropology, Dean Hall, room 341

Matthew Altman, PhD, philosophy, Kant, applied ethics, nineteenth-century philosophy, ethics, social and political philosophy, philosophy of law, philosophy of art
Dan Beck, PhD, biology, ecology and behavior, and physiology of reptiles in the Pacific NW, southwestern USA, and western Mexico
Kara I. Gabriel, PhD, psychology, biopsychology, evolutionary psychology, and impacts on people in interactions with primates in both wild and captive settings
Lori K. Sheeran, PhD, anthropology, biological anthropology, Tibetan macaques, tourism, aging, gibbon behavior, ecology and conservation, primate social behavior
Lixing Sun, PhD, biology, ecology and evolution of animal behavior (especially communication systems), primatology

Associate Professors
J. Hope Amason, PhD, anthropology, political economy and globalization, politics of representation, race, class, and gender, museums, memorials, and heritage sites, tourism studies
Clay Arango, PhD, biology, stream ecosystem ecology, nitrogen cycling, human-ecosystem interactions
April Binder, PhD, biology, reproductive biology focused on hormonal control of ovarian function and development
Ralf Greenwald, PhD, psychology, general cognition, human neurophysiology, working memory, attention, language

Assistant Professor
Jessica A. Mayhew, PhD, anthropology, biological anthropology; primate social behavior; play behavior; primate socio-cognition; ethnoprimatology; large-bodied apes; Macaca spp.
Mary Radeke, PhD, psychology, use of facial cues in emotion and personality assessment, conversation development in young children, personality traits, technology in the classroom, primate communication, eye tracking and Facial Action Unit Coding laboratory
Rodrigo Renteria-Valencia, PhD, anthropology, environmental anthropology, linguistic anthropology, semiotics, visual anthropology, ritual and performance theory, human geography, maritime anthropology, indigenous studies

Kathleen Barlow, PhD, anthropology, learning and culture, childhood, psychological anthropology, museum anthropology, symbolism, gender, art and aesthetics, material culture, regional ethnography
Sofia Blue, PhD, anthropology, primatology, signal systems in nonhuman animals, particularly vocal communication in non-human primates, bioacoustics and cognitive ethology, focus on the Macaca genus
Mary Lee Jensvold, PhD, primatology, chimpanzee sign language studies, ape behavior, communication, culture, chimpanzee care and enrichment, non-verbal behavior
JB Mulcahy, MS, primatology, captive primate welfare, environmental enrichment, chimpanzee behavior

Penelope Anderson, secretary senior

Primate Behavior, MS
This program is interdisciplinary and emphasizes the approaches and contributions to primatology made by biologists, anthropologists, psychologists, and philosophers. It includes a basic core of 21 credits in primatology, with 18 elective credits selected in consultation with the student’s advisor.

Students must complete at least 45 credits as outlined in an approved course of study filed with the Office of Graduate Studies and Research. The course of study is selected by advisement before completing 20 credits. Two quarters in residence are required.

Admission Requirements
In addition to general guidelines for admission to master’s programs, applicants for admission must have the following qualifications:

  1. An undergraduate degree in anthropology, psychology, or biology. Before admission, program faculty will evaluate the academic course work and experience of all applicants for admission, and will recommend remedial course work if, in their judgment, there are deficiencies in pre-baccalaureate work which need to be overcome before entrance into the program.
  2. Students must submit GRE scores for the general test.
  3. International students for whom English is a second language must provide TOEFEL scores to demonstrate English proficiency.
  4. Students must arrange for a graduate faculty advisor in the program to serve as their major advisor.

Admission to the program and continuation in it may be conditional on the applicant’s satisfactory completion of remedial courses. Such courses will not count toward the program credit requirement, but in some cases they may be taken after admission to the program.

Special Programs
The PBE library room in room 204 Dean Hall houses several hundred books, articles, and DVDs/videotapes related to primatology. The room includes a TV, DVD player, and four computer work stations.

The PBE Program has available for student use one video camera, two digital cameras, two DVD players, one television, observational software (The Observer), and two PDAs for using this software at remote locations. The Observer software can also be used on two desktop computers.

Students and faculty who have been approved to conduct research at CHCI may have access to resources housed there. These include an extensive library of articles, books, videos, and DVDs, and more than 20 years of archived video footage collected from the chimpanzees living there. CHCI also houses several VCRs, TVs, DVD players, video cameras, and computers that students can use in research projects conducted at CHCI. Access is considered on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the director and associate director of CHCI.

The Anthropological Genetics Laboratory in Dean Hall, room 232 A, is equipped for performing DNA extractions, PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) amplification, genotyping, and DNA sequencing. Software for analyzing genetic data and performing phylogenetic analysis is also available.

The anthropology department owns casts of fossil and living nonhuman primates. These span a variety of taxa including prosimians, monkeys, and apes. Access is considered on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the anthropology faculty.

The PBE Program is affiliated with the Conservation and Biodiversity Field School in China, which is coordinated through the CWU Office of International Study and Programs.

Graduate Committee
The student will have at least a three-member graduate committee selected in consultation with the thesis committee chair.

Program Fees
Lab fees are attached to the following courses conducted at the Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute: PRIM 595C, PRIM 700, and PRIM 516.

Program Outcomes
For information on program outcomes, please go to:

Course Offerings
Frequency of course offering information can be found at the department website: or by contacting the department directly.


    Master of Science (M.S.)


      Primate Studies (PRIM)

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