• Primate Reproductive Ecology and Evolution

    Department of Anthropology

    New York University

  • Welcome to the Primate Reproductive Ecology and Evolution group at NYU. We study the evolutionary and behavioral ecology of nonhuman primates, with a focus on sexual selection, reproduction, and communication.

  • Recent News

    Selected recent (2014 - present) press coverage

    Testard et al. 2021

    Testard et al. 2021

    Testard et al. 2021

    Melin et al. 2020

    Melin et al. 2020

    Melin et al. 2020

    Dominy et al. 2018

    Dominy et al. 2018

    Dominy et al. 2018

    Dominy et al. 2018

    On our research on drill coloration

    DeCasien, Williams & Higham 2017

    DeCasien, Williams & Higham 2017

    DeCasien, Williams & Higham 2017

    DeCasien, Williams & Higham 2017

    DeCasien, Williams & Higham 2017

    Grueter et al. 2015

    Grueter et al. 2015

    Fischer et al. 2015

    Fischer et al. 2015

    Allen & Higham 2015

    Allen & Higham 2015

    Allen & Higham 2015

    Hughes et al. 2015

    Dubuc et al. 2014

    Allen et al. 2014

    Allen et al. 2014

    Allen et al. 2014

  • News about Cayo Santiago

    Updates Post-Hurricane Maria

    After a unique macaque colony off the island's coast was hit by Hurricane Maria, its caretakers are rushing to save it—and themselves.

    Autism research suffered a significant setback after an island used for scientific study was ravaged by Hurricane Maria.

  • Follow us on Twitter!

  • Research

    Our overall goal is to study genetical, morphological, physiological and behavioral aspects of primate reproductive strategies as shaped by sexual selection. Much of our work has a particular focus on communication and sensory and perceptual ecology, as well as the neuroendocrinological, physiological and immunological processes underlying mechanisms of competition and mate choice. Following Darwin, our research is structured around two related processes: the ways in which individuals compete with members of the same sex both directly and indirectly over reproductive opportunities (intra-sexual selection); and the ways in which individuals attract members of the opposite sex (inter-sexual selection).


    The methods used in our lab are diverse, and include techniques from ethology, biological anthropology, evolutionary biology, computer vision and machine learning, experimental and comparative psychology, endocrinology and immunology, and quantitative and functional genetics.


    A summary of our recent work on adaptive coloration can be found on BBC Earth.

  • Field Sites

    We are active at several field sites. Students may be able to undertake research at these sites, but are welcome to suggest others too.

    Cayo Santiago, Puerto Rico

    Cayo Santiago, Puerto Rico. This island off the coast of Puerto Rico is home to over 1000 rhesus macaques and is administrated by the Caribbean Primate Research Center of the University of Puerto Rico. Our diverse work there includes collaborations with Lauren Brent (Exeter), Noah Snyder-Mackler (ArizonaStateU), Dario Maestripieri (UChicago), and Laurie Santos (Yale).

    Tangkoko, Sulawesi, Indonesia

    Tangkoko, Sulawesi, Indonesia. This reserve in northern Sulawesi is home to several habituated groups of crested macaques, a critically endangered species of macaque known for its high levels of social tolerance between group members. The Macaca Nigra Project is hosted by the German Primate Center’s Jr Research Group on Sexual Selection, and is directed by Antje Engelhardt.

    Gashaka, Nigeria

    Gashaka, Nigeria. Gashaka-Gumti is Nigeria’s largest national park, and contains numerous primate species. Around the Kwano and Gashaka field stations are species including chimpanzees, baboons, tantalus monkeys, black and white colobus, putty-nosed guenons and mona monkeys. The site is directed by Volker Sommer (University College London), while the director of baboon research is Caroline Ross (Roehampton University, London).

  • Primate Hormones and Behavior Lab

    We have our own laboratory, in which we measure primate hormonal, inflammatory, and immunological analytes.

    Often, these analytes are measured as metabolites from excreta (feces and urine) collected from animals at our field sites. Technicians and students in the lab analyze these excreta using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs).


    Many of our projects also include genetic analysis components, for which we regularly extract, quantify, and sequence DNA from feces, hair, saliva, and other biological samples using PCR, qPCR, and other standard laboratory techniques. We also analyze the DNA of microbes to integrate the microbiome into our projects.


    Each of these laboratory processes allow researchers in our lab to study a range of important biological questions including reproductive strategies and the effects of processes such as sexual selection on animal biology across the lifespan at the molecular level, including during development and senescence.

  • People

    Click on the photo to learn more

    James Higham

    Principal Investigator

    Eve Cooper

    Postdoctoral Researcher

    Sam Patterson

    Postdoctoral Researcher

    Arthur Fernandes

    Postdoctoral Researcher

    Amber Eliza Trujillo

    PhD candidate

    Laura Newman

    PhD candidate

    Christina Costa

    PhD candidate

    Jessica Gunson

    PhD candidate

    Emily Nonnamaker

    PhD candidate

    Kandra Cruz

    PhD student

    Stacy-Anne R. Parke

    PhD Student

    Connor Whalen

    Lab Manager

    Alumni Lab Members

    click name for website

    Mareike Janiak

    (Postdoc Consultant 2022-2023)

    Cassandra Turcotte

    (Postdoc 2018-2022)

    Laís Moreira

    (PhD Student, 2017-2022)

    Rachel Petersen

    (PhD student, 2014-2021)

    Constance Dubuc

    (Postdoc, then affiliated researcher, 2014-2021)

    Clare Kimock

    (PhD student, 2015-2021)

    Megan Petersdorf

    (PhD student, 2013-2021)

    Alex DeCasien

    (PhD student, 2014-2021)

    Eva Hernandez-Janer Mann

    (MA student, 2017-2020)

    Abby Colby

    (MA student, 2017-2020)

    Susie Lee

    (PhD student, 2013-2019)

    Sandra Winters

    (PhD student, 2012-2019)

    Benjamin Ragen

    (Postdoc, 2015-2017)

    Lauren Petrullo

    (MA student, 2013-2015)

    Will Allen

    (Postdoc, 2012-2014)

    Undergraduate Students

    Current* & Alumni

    Eva Merce-Fuentes

    Ailin Xu

    Gabby Galindo

    Ruby Mustill

    Maddy Hillegas

    Sofia Villegas

    Varvy Rousseau

    Deanna Hartog

    Allegra DePasquale

    Noelle Desir

    Lisa Ramirez

    Elise Blegen

    Judy Dang

    Flavia Stanton

    Constanza Galindo

    Paul Brown

    High School Students

    Current* & Alumni

    Bella Villanueva

    Ahaylee Rahman

    Ella Andonov

    Giana Adote

    Xinyi Gilda Gao

    Tahsin Uddin

    Emily Willett

    Gabrielle Piña

    Yovanna Smith

    Djemila Campaore

    Madison Mushnick

    Etta Harshaw

    Zofia Caes

    Grace Passannante

    Kelly Heinzerling

    Cayo Santiago Research Assistants

    Current* & Alumni

    D. Kyle Breault*

    Lilly Kurina*

    Jamie Raupp*

    Eva Merce-Fuentes

    Francesca Kaser

    Jovana Maksic

    Brooklynn Scott

    Natalia Melendez

    Sylvia Silva

    Andrea Rodriguez

    Amy Sutley

    Anita Montero

    Yasmina Ahdab

    Maddy Hillegas

    Laura Gomez

    Angelica Cruz

    Becky LaVictoire

    Gisela Crespo

    Connie Rojas

    Louisa Radosevich

    Victoria Johnson

  • Publications


    As Editor


    Higham, J.P. & Roney, J. (Eds). 2017. Field endocrinology of nonhuman primates and humans. Hormones and Behavior 91.


    Higham, J.P. & Hebets, E.A. (Eds). 2013. Multimodal communication. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 67 (9)


    Higham, J.P. & Semple, S. (Eds). 2013. Primate signals. American Journal of Primatology 75 (7)


    Higham, J.P. (Ed). 2009. Primate coloration: measurement, mechanisms and function. International Journal of Primatology 30 (6)


    Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles


    Patterson, S.K., Petersen, R., Brent, L.J.N., Snyder-Mackler, N., Lea, A., & Higham, J.P. (2023). Natural animal populations as model systems for understanding early life adversity effects on aging. Integrative and Comparative Biology In Press


    Aung, T., Hill, A.K., Pfefferle, D., McLester, E., Fuller, J., Lawrence, J.M., Garcia-Nisa, I., Kendal, R.L., Petersdorf, M., Higham, J.P., Galat, G., Lameira, A.R., Apicella, C.L., Barelli, C., Glenn, M.E., Ramos-Fernandez, G., Puts, D.A. (2023). Group size and mating system predict sex differences in vocal fundamental frequency in anthropoid primates. Nature Communications In Press


    Peterson, S.M., Watowich, M.M., Renner, L., Martin, S., Offenberg, E., Lea, A., Montague, M.J., Higham, J.P., Snyder-Mackler, N., Neuringer, M., & Ferguson, B. (2023). Genetic variants in melanogenesis proteins TYRP1 and TYR are associated with the golden rhesus macaque phenotype. G3 Genes|Genomes|Genetics In Press


    Fernandes, A.G., Alexopoulos, P., Burgos-Rodriguez, A., Martinez, M.I., Cayo Biobank Research Unit, Ghassibi, M., Leskov, I., Brent, L.J.N., Snyder-Mackler, N., Danias, J., Wollstein, G., Higham, J.P. ' & Melin, A.D. ' Age-related differences in ocular features of a naturalistic free-ranging population of rhesus macaques Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 64(7): 3 https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.64.7.3

    'These authors contributed equally to this work


    Higham, J.P., Cooper, E.B., Whalen, C., Stahl-Hennig, C., Giavedoni, L.D., & Heistermann, M. (2023). Urinary cytokine measurements do not reflect surgery-induced inflammation in rhesus macaques. American Journal of Primatology e23506 https://doi.org/10.1002/ajp.23506


    Higham, J.P. (2023). The sexual selection landscape and sexually-selected traits of the crested macaque (Macaca nigra). International Journal of Primatology https://doi.org/10.1007/s10764-023-00354-x


    Alvarez-Estape, M., Pawar, H., Fontsere, C., Trujillo, A. E., Gunson, J. L., Bergl, R. A., Bermejo, M., Linder, J.M., McFarland, K., Oates, J.F., Sunderland-Groves, J.L., Orkin, Higham, J.P., Viaud-Martinez, K.A., Lizano, E., and Marques-Bonet, T. (2023). Past connectivity but recent inbreeding in cross river gorillas determined using whole genomes from single hairs. Genes, 14(3), 743. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/genes14030743


    Siracusa, E.R., Pereira, A.S., Bohr Brask, J., Negron-Del Valle, J., Phillips, D., Cayo Biobank Research Unit, Platt, M.L., Higham, J.P., Snyder-Mackler, N. & Brent, L.J.N. (2023). Ageing in a collective: the impact of ageing individuals on social network structure. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 378: 20220061 https://doi.org/10.1098%2Frstb.2022.0061


    Higham, J.P. 2022. Evolution: Kin selection spreads eLife 11:e84142. https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.84142


    Siracusa, E.R., Negrón-Del Valle, J.E., Phillips, D., Platt, M.L., Higham, J.P., Snyder-Mackler, N., & Brent, L.J.N. 2022. Within-individual changes reveal increasing social selectivity with age in rhesus macaques. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 119(49): e2209180119 https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2209180119


    Moreira, L.A.A., Watsa, M., Erkenswick, G., Higham, J.P. & Melin, A.D. 2022. Evaluating genital skin color varition as a putative sexual signal in wild populations of saddleback (Leontocebus weddelli) and emperor (Saguinus imperator) tamarins. American Journal of Primatology, e23456 https://doi.org/10.1002/ajp.23456


    Colby, A.E., DeCasien, A.R., Cooper, E.B. & Higham, J.P. 2022. Greater variability in rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) endocranial volume among males than females. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 289: 20220728. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2022.0728


    Chiou, K.L., DeCasien, A.R., Rees, K.P, Testard, C., Spurrell, C.H., Gogate, A.A., Pliner, H.A., Tremblay, S., Mercer, A., Whalen, C.J., Negrón-Del Valle, J.E., Janiak, M.C., Bauman Surratt, S.E., González, O., Compo, N.R., Stock, M.K., Ruiz-Lambides, A.V., Martínez, M.I., Cayo Biobank Research Unit, Wilson, M.A., Melin, A.D., Antón, S.C., Walker, C.S., Sallet, J., Newbern, J.M., Starita, L.M., Shendure, J., Higham, J.P., Brent, L.J.N., Montague, M.J., Platt, M.L., & Snyder-Mackler, N. 2022. Multiregion transcriptomic profiling of the primate brain reveals signatures of aging and the social environment. Nature Neuroscience, 25:1714–1723. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41593-022-01197-0


    Pavez-Fox, M.A., Kimock, C.M., Rivera-Barreto, N., Negrón-Del Valle, J.E., Phillips, D., Ruiz-Lambides, A., Snyder-Mackler, N., Higham, J.P., Siracusa, E.R. & Brent, L.J.N. 2022. Reduced injury risk links sociality to survival in a group-living primate. iScience 105454



    Petersen, R.M., Bergey, C.M., Roos, C. & Higham, J.P. 2022. Relationship between genome-wide and MHC class I and II genetic diversity and complementarity in a nonhuman primate. Ecology and Evolution 12: e9346. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.9346


    Cooper, E.B., Watowich, M.M., Beeby, N., Whalen, C., Montague, M.J., Cayo Biobank Research Unit, Brent, L.J.N., Snyder-Mackler, N., & Higham, J.P. 2022. Concentrations of urinary neopterin, but not suPAR, positively correlate with age in rhesus macaques. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 10: 1007052 https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2022.1007052


    Schneider-Crease, I., Weyher, A.H., Mubemba, B., Kamilar, J.M., Petersdorf, M., & Chiou, K.L. 2022. Stronger maternal social relationships and higher rank are associated with accelerated infant maturation in Kinda baboons. Animal Behaviour 189: 47-57.



    Cooper, E.B., Brent, L.J.N., Snyder-Mackler, N., Singh, M., Sengupta, A., Khatiwada, S., Malaivijitnond, S., Qi Hai, Z. & Higham, J.P. 2022. The natural history of model organisms: The rhesus macaque as a success story of the Anthropocene. eLife 11: e78169 https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.78169


    DeCasien, A.R., Trujillo, A.E., Janiak, M.C., Harshaw, E.P., Caes, Z.N., Galindo, G.A., Petersen R.M. & Higham, J.P. 2022. Equivocal evidence for a link between megalencephaly-related genes and primate brain size evolution. Scientific Reports 12: 10902



    Munds, R.A., Cooper, E., Janiak, M.C., Lam, L.G., DeCasien, A.R., Bauman Surratt, S., Montague, M., Martinez, M., Cayo Biobank Research Unit, Kawamura, S., Higham, J.P. ' & Melin, A.D. ' 2022. Variation and heritability of retinal cone ratios in a free-ranging population of rhesus macaque. Evolution 76(8): 1776-1789 https://doi.org/10.1111/evo.14552

    'These authors contributed equally to this work


    Winters, S. & Higham, J.P. 2022. Simulated evolution of mating signal diversification in a primate radiation. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 209: 20220734



    Kimock, C.M., Dubuc, C., Brent, LJ.N. & Higham, J.P. 2022. Body size and canine size do not confer a competitive advantage in male rhesus macaques. Animal Behaviour 187: 281-290 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2022.01.011


    Testard, C., Brent, L.J.N., Andersson, J., Chiou, K.L., Negron-Del Valle, J.E., DeCasien, A.R., Acevedo-Ithier, A.R., Stock, M.K., Antón, S.A., Gonzalez, O., Walker, C.S., Foxley, S., Compo, N.R., Bauman,S., Ruiz-Lambides, A.V., Martinez, M.I., Skene, J.H.P, Horvath, J.E., Cayo Biobank Research Unit, Higham, J.P., Miller, K., Snyder-Mackler, N., Montague, M.J., Platt, M.L., Sallet, J. 2022. Social connections predict brain structure in a multidimensional free-ranging primate society. Science Advances 18:15 https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abl5794


    DeCasien, A.R., Barton, R.A., & Higham, J.P. 2022. Understanding the human brain: insights from comparative biology. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 26:5 432-445



    Lee, D.S., Knittel, T., Deschner, T., Heistermann, H. & Higham, J.P. 2022. Testing the role of testosterone versus estrogens in mediating reproductive transitions in female rhesus macaques. Hormones and Behavior 139: 105123 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yhbeh.2022.105123


    Siracusa, E., Snyder-Mackler, M., Higham, J.P. & Brent, L. 2022. Social aging: exploring the drivers of late-life changes in social behavior in mammals. Biology Letters 18: 20210643



    Watowich, M.M., Chiou, K.L, Montague, M.J., Simons, N.D., Horvarth, J.E., Ruiz-Lambides, A.V., Martinez, M.I., Higham, J.P., Brent, L.J.N., Platt, M.L., Snyder-Mackler, N. 2022. Natural disaster and immunological aging in a nonhuman primate. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 119:8 https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2121663119


    DeLacey, P.M., Perlman, R.F., Sen, S., Schneider-Crease, I., Chiou, K.L., Lemma, A., Ayele, F., Higham, J.P., Lu, A., Snyder-Mackler, N., Beehner, J.C. & Bergman, T.J. 2022. Assessing male gelada chest patches: color measurement and physiological mechanisms. Mammalian Biology https://doi.org/10.1007/s42991-021-00211-5


    Turcotte, C.M., Mann, E.H.J., Stock, M.K., Villamil, C.I., Montague, M.J., Dickinson, E., Bauman Surratt, S., Martinez, M., Williams, S.A., Antón, S.C. & Higham, J.P. 2022. The ontogeny of sexual dimorphism in free-ranging rhesus macaques. American Journal of Biological Anthropology 177: 314-327 https://doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.24442


    Lee, D.S., Kang, Y., Ruiz-Lambides, A. & Higham, J.P. 2021. The observed pattern and hidden process of female reproductive trajectories across the lifespan in a nonhuman primate. Journal of Animal Ecology 90: 2901-2914 https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.13590


    Petersen, R.M., Heistermann, M. & Higham, J.P. 2021. Social and sexual behaviors predict immune system activation, but not adrenocortical activation, in male rhesus macaques. Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology 75: 159 https://doi.org/10.1007/s00265-021-03083-4


    Pavez-Fox, M., Montague. M.J., Negron-Del Valle, J.E., Platt, M.L., Synder-Mackler M., Higham, J.P. & Brent, L.J.N. 2021. Sociality predicts individual variation in the immunity of free-ranging rhesus macaques. Physiology and Behavior 241: 113560


    Higham, J.P. 2021. Studying the colors of monkeys: a comment on Caro et al. 2021. Behavioral Ecology 32: 570-571


    Cerrito, P. & DeCasien, A.R. 2021. The expression of care: Alloparental care frequency predicts neural control of facial muscles in primates. Evolution 75-7: 1727-1737



    Testard, C., Larson, S.M., Watowich, M., Kaplinsky, C.H., Bernau, A., Faulder, M., Marshall, H.H., Lehmann, J., Ruiz-Lambides, A., Higham, J.P., Montague, M., Snyder-Mackler, N., Platt, M.L., Brent, L.J.N. 2021. Rhesus macaques build new social connections after a natural disaster. Current Biology 31: 2299-2309 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2021.03.029


    Melin, A.D., Orkin, J.D., Janiak, M.C., Valenzuela, A., Kuderna, L., Marrone III, F., Ramangason, H., Horvath, J.E., Roos, C., Kitchener, A.C., Khor, C.C., Lim, W.K., Lee, J.G.H., Tan, P., Umapathy, G., Raveendram, M., Harris, R.A., Gut, I., Gut, M., Lizano, E., Nadler, T., Zinner, D., Le, M.D., Manu, S., Rabarivola, C.J., Zaraomody, A., Andriaholinirina, N., Johnson, S.E., Jarvis, E.D., Fredigo, O., Wu, D., Zhang, G. Farh, K.K-H., Rogers, J., Marques-Bonet, T., Navarro, A., Juan, D., Arora, P.S. & Higham, J.P. 2021. Variation in predicted COVID-19 risk among lemurs and lorises. American Journal of Primatology 83, e23255 https://doi.org/10.1002/ajp.23255


    Janiak, M.C., Montague, M.J., Villamil, C.I., Stock, M.J., Trujillo, A.E., DePasquale, A., Orkin, J., Bauman Surratt, S., Gonzalez, O., Platt, M.L., Martinez, M., Antón S., Dominguez-Bello, M.G., Melin, A.D., Higham, J.P. 2021. Age and sex-associated variation in the multi-site microbiome of an entire social group of free-ranging rhesus macaques. Microbiome 9: 68 https://doi.org/10.1186/s40168-021-01009-w


    Higham, J.P., Heistermann, M., Agil, M., Perwitasari-Farajallah, D., Widdig, A. & Engelhardt, A. 2021. Female fertile phase synchrony, and male mating and reproductive skew, in the crested macaque.

    Scientific Reports 11: 4251 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-81163-1


    Colby, A.E., Kimock, C.M. & Higham, J.P. 2021. Endocranial volume is variable and heritable, but not related to fitness, in a free-ranging primate. Scientific Reports 11: 4235



    Higham, J.P., Kimock, C.M., Mandalaywala, T.M., Heistermann M., Cascio, J., Petersdorf, M., Winters, S., Allen, W.L., & Dubuc, C. 2021. Female ornaments: is red skin color attractive to males and related to condition in rhesus macaques? Behavioral Ecology 32: 236-247



    Ghazanfar, A.A., Kelly, L.M., Takahashi, D.Y., Winters, S., Terrett, R. & Higham, J.P. 2020. Domestication phenotype linked to vocal communication in a nonhuman primate. Current Biology 30: 5026-5032 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2020.09.049


    Melin, A.D., Janiak, M.C., Marrone, F., Arora, P.S. & Higham, J.P. 2020. Comparative ACE2 variation and primate COVID-19 risk. Communications Biology 3: 641



    DeCasien, A.R. & Higham, J.P. 2020. Relative cerebellum size is not sexually dimorphic across primates. Brain, Behavior and Evolution 95: 93-101 https://doi.org/10.1159/000509070


    Chiou, K.L.,‌ ‌Montague‌, M.J.,‌ ‌‌Goldman‌, E.A.,‌ ‌Watowich‌, M.M,‌‌ ‌Sams‌,‌ S.N., ‌‌Song, J., Horvath‌, J.E.,‌ ‌Sterner‌, K.N.,‌ ‌‌Ruiz-Lambides‌,‌ A.V.,‌ ‌Martínez‌, M.I.,‌ ‌Higham‌, J.P.,‌ ‌‌Brent‌, L.J.N,‌ ‌‌Platt‌, M.L. & ‌‌Snyder-Mackler, N.‌ 2020. Rhesus‌ ‌macaques‌ ‌as‌ ‌a‌ ‌tractable‌ ‌physiological‌ ‌model‌ ‌of‌ ‌human‌ ‌ageing‌ . Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 375: 20190612



    Lee, D.S., Mandalaywala, T., Dubuc, C., Widdig, A., Higham, J.P. 2020. Higher early life mortality with lower infant body mass in a free‐ranging primate. Journal of Animal Ecology 89: 2300-2310



    Petersen, R.M. & Higham, J.P. 2020. The role of sexual selection in the evolution of facial displays in male nonhuman primates and men. Adaptive Human Behavior & Physiology 6: 249–276



    DeCasien, A.R., Sherwood C.C., Schapiro, S.J. & Higham, J.P. 2020. Greater variability in chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) brain structure among males.

    Proceedings of the Royal Society B 287: 20192858 https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2019.2858

    Higham, J.P., Stahl-Hennig, C., & Heistermann, M. 2020. Urinary suPAR: a non-invasive biomarker of infection and tissue inflammation for use in studies of large free-ranging mammals. Royal Society Open Science  7: 191825 https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.191825


    Thompson, N.A., Higham, J.P., Heistermann, M., Vogel, E.R., & Cords, M. 2020. Energy balance but not competitive environment corresponds with allostatic load during development in an Old World monkey. Hormones and Behavior 119: 104664


    Winters, S., Allen, W.L., Higham, J.P. 2020.The structure of species discrimination signals across a primate radiation. eLife 9: e47428 https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.47428


    Young, M.I.M., Winters, S., Young, C., Weiß, B.M., Troscianko, J., Ganswindt, A., Barrett, L., Henzi, S.P., Higham, J.P., Widdig, A. 2020. Male characteristics as predictors of genital color and display variation in vervet monkeys. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 74:14.



    Kimock, C., Dubuc, C., Brent, L.J.N., Higham, J.P. 2019. Male morphological traits are heritable but do not predict reproductive success in a sexually-dimorphic primate. Scientific Reports 9: 19794



    Fischer, J.*, Higham, J.P.*, Alberts, S.C., Barrett, L., Beehner, J.C., Bergman, T.J., Carter, A.J., Collins A., Elton, S., Fagot, J., Ferreira da Silva, M.J., Hammerschmidt, K., Henzi, P., Jolly, C., Knauf, S., Kopp, G.H., Rogers, J., Roos, C., Ross, C., Seyfarth, R.M., Silk, J., Snyder-Mackler, N., Städele, V., Swedell, L., Wilson, M.L, Zinner, D. 2019. Insights into the evolution of social systems and species from baboon studies. *These authors contributed equally to this work eLife 8: e50989


    Higham, J.P. 2019. A comparative perspective on measures of cycle phase, and how they relate to cues, signals, and mating behavior: a commentary on Gangestad et al. Evolution and Human Behavior 40: 533-536


    Moreira, L.A.A., Duytschaever, G., Higham, J.P. & Melin, A.D. 2019. Platyrrhine color signals: New horizons to pursue. Evolutionary Anthropology 28: 236-248 https://doi.org/10.1002/evan.21798


    DeCasien, A.R., Higham, J.P. 2019. Primate mosaic brain evolution reflects selection on sensory and cognitive specialization. Nature Ecology and Evolution 3: 1483–1493. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-019-0969-0


    Petersdorf, M., Weyher, A.H., Kamilar, J.M., Dubuc, C., Higham, J.P. 2019. Sexual selection in the Kinda baboon. Journal of Human Evolution 135: 102635. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2019.06.006


    Rigaill, L., Higham, J.P., Winters, S., Garcia, C. 2019. The redder the better? Information content of red skin coloration in female Japanese macaques. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 73: 103. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00265-019-2712-x


    Williamson, C.M., Lee, W., DeCasien, A.R., Lanham, A., Romeo, R.D., Curley, J.P. 2019. Social hierarchy position in female mice is associated with plasma corticosterone levels and hypothalamic gene expression. Scientific Reports 9: 7324.


    Lee, D.S., Ruiz-Lambides, A.V., Higham, J.P. 2019. Higher offspring mortality with short interbirth intervals in free-ranging rhesus macaques. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 116: 6057-6062


    Rosenfield, K.A., Semple, S., Georgiev, A.V., Maestripieri, D., Higham, J.P., Dubuc, C. 2019. Experimental evidence that female rhesus macaques Macaca mulatta perceive variation in male facial masculinity. Royal Society Open Science 6: 181415.


    Ma, W.J. & Higham, J.P. 2018. The role of familiarity in signaler-receiver interactions. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 15: 20180568


    DeCasien, A.R., Thompson, N.A., Williams, S.A., Shattuck, M.R. 2018. Encephalization and longevity evolved in a correlated fashion in Euarchontoglires but not in other mammals. Evolution 72: 2617-2631


    Higham J.P., Dominy N.J. 2018. The promise of primatology fulfilled? American Journal of Physical Anthropology 166: 783–790.


    Dominy, N.J., Winters, S., Pease, D.E., Higham, J.P. 2018. Dr Seuss and the real Lorax. Nature Ecology and Evolution 2: 1196–1198.


    Mandalaywala, T.M., Petrullo, L., Parker, K., Maestripieri, D. & Higham, J.P. 2017. Vigilance for threat accounts for inter-individual variation in physiological responses to adversity in rhesus macaques: a cognition x environment approach. Developmental Psychobiology 59: 1031-1038.


    Petersdorf, M., Dubuc, C., Georgiev, A.V, Winters, S. & Higham, J.P. 2017. Is the red facial coloration of male rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) subject to intrasexual selection? Behavioral Ecology 28: 1472-1481.


    Hiramatsu, C., Melin, A.D., Allen, W.L., Dubuc, C. & Higham, J.P. 2017. Experimental evidence that primate trichromacy is well suited for detecting primate social colour signals. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 284: 20162458.


    Roney, J.R. & Higham, J.P. 2017. Synthesizing research on field endocrinology of nonhuman primates and humans. Hormones and Behavior 91: 1-2.


    DeCasien, A.R., Williams, S.A. & Higham, J.P. 2017. Primate brain size is predicted by diet but not sociality. Nature Ecology and Evolution 1:0112.


    Hammond, A.S., Johnson, V.P. & Higham, J.P. 2017. Hip joint mobility in free-ranging rhesus macaques. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 162: 377-384.


    Rigaill, L., MacIntosh, A.J.J., Higham, J.P., Winters, S., Shimizu, K., Mouri, K., Suzumura, T., Furuichi, T., Garcia, C. 2017. Testing for links between face color and age, dominance status, parity, weight, and intestinal nematode infection in a sample of female Japanese macaques. Primates 58: 83-91.


    Petrullo, L., Mandalaywala, T.M., Parker, K., Maestripieri, D. & Higham, J.P. 2016. Effects of early-life adversity on cortisol/salivary alpha-amylase symmetry in free-ranging juvenile rhesus macaques. Hormones and Behavior 86: 78-84.


    Higham, J.P. 2016. Field endocrinology of nonhuman primates: past, present and future. Hormones and Behavior 84: 145-155


    Dubuc, C., Allen, W.L., Cascio, J., Lee, D.S., Maestripieri, D., Petersdorf, M., Winters, S. & Higham, J.P. 2016. Who cares? Experimental attention biases provide new insights into a mammalian sexual signal. Behavioral Ecology 27: 68-74


    Grueter, C.C., Zhu, P., Allen, W.L., Higham, J.P., Ren, B. & Li, M. 2015. Sexually-selected lip colour indicates male group-holding status in the mating season in a multi-level primate society. Royal Society Open Science 2:150490


    Heistermann, M. & Higham, J.P. 2015 Urinary neopterin, a non-invasive marker of mammalian cellular immune activation, is highly stable under field conditions. Scientific Reports 5: 16308


    Fischer, J., Wheeler, B.C., & Higham, J.P. 2015. Is there any evidence for vocal learning in chimpanzee food calls? Current Biology 25, R1-R2


    Rigaill, L., MacIntosh, A.J.J., Higham, J.P., Winters, S., Shimizu, K., Mouri, K., Takeshi, F. & Garcia, C. Multimodal advertisement of pregnancy in free-ranging female Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata). PLOS One 10(8): e0135127


    Higham, J.P., Kraus, C., Stahl-Hennig, C., Engelhardt, A., Fuchs, D. & Heistermann, M. 2015. Evaluating non-invasive markers of non-human primate immune activation and inflammation. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 158: 673-684


    Winters, S., Dubuc, C. & Higham, J.P. 2015. The looking time experimental paradigm in studies of animal visual perception and cognition. Ethology 121: 625-640


    Allen, W.L. & Higham, J.P. 2015. Assessing the potential information content of multicomponent visual signals: A machine learning approach. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 282: 20142284


    Hughes, K.D., Higham, J.P., Allen, W.L., Elliot, A.J. & Hayden, B.Y. 2015. Extraneous red drives female macaques’ gaze toward photographs of male conspecifics. Evolution and Human Behavior 36: 25-31


    MacLarnon, A.M., Sommer, V., Goffe, A.S., Higham, J.P., Lodge, E., Tkaczynski, P. & Ross, C. 2015. Assessing adaptability and reactive scope: a new measure and a case study of environmental stress in forest-living baboons. General and Comparative Endocrinology 215: 10-24


    Dubuc, C., Winters, S., Allen, W.L., Brent, L.J.N., Cascio, J., Maestripieri, D.M., Ruiz-Lambides, A., Widdig, A. & Higham, J.P. 2014. Sexually-selected skin color is heritable and related to fecundity in a non-human primate. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 281: 20141602


    Dubuc, C., Ruiz-Lambides, A., & Widdig, A. 2014. Variance in male lifetime reproductive success and estimation of the degree of polygyny in a primate. Behavioral Ecology 25: 878-889.


    Mandalaywala, T.M., Higham, J.P., Heistermann, M., Parker, K.J. & Maestripieri D. 2014. Physiological and behavioral stress responses to weaning conflict in free-ranging primate infants. Animal Behaviour 91: 241-247


    Allen, W.L., Stevens, M & Higham, J.P. 2014. Character displacement of Cercopithecini primate visual signals. Nature Communications 5: 4266


    Higham, J.P. & Maestripieri, D. 2014. The costs of reproductive success in Cayo Santiago male rhesus macaques. International Journal of Primatology 35: 661-676


    Dubuc, C., Allen, W.L., Maestripieri, D. & Higham, J.P. 2014. Is male rhesus macaque red colour ornamentation attractive to females? Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 68: 1215-1224


    Higham, J.P. 2014. How does honest costly signaling work? Behavioral Ecology 25: 8-11


    Allen, W.A., Scott-Samuel, N.E., Baddeley, R.J. & Cuthill, I.C. 2013. The evolution and function of pattern diversity on snakes. Behavioral Ecology 24: 1237-1250


    Dubuc, C., Coyne, S.P., & Maestripieri, D. (2013). Effect of mating activity and dominance rank on male masturbation among free-ranging male rhesus macaques. Ethology, 119: 1-8.


    Higham, J.P. & Hebets, E.A. 2013. An introduction to multimodal communication. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 67: 1381-1388


    Wilson A., Dean, M. & Higham, J.P. 2013. A game theoretic approach to multimodal communication. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 67: 1399-1415


    Higham, J.P., Pfefferle, D., Heistermann, M., Maestripieri, D. & Stevens, M. 2013. Signaling in multiple modalities in male rhesus macaques: barks and sex skin coloration in relation to androgen levels, social status and mating behavior. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 67: 1457-1469


    Semple, S. & Higham, J.P. 2013. Primate signals: Current issues and perspectives. American Journal of Primatology 75: 613-620


    Rigaill, L., Higham, J.P., Lee, PC., Blin, A. & Garcia, C. 2013. Multimodal sexual signaling and mating behavior in olive baboons (Papio anubis). American Journal of Primatology 75: 774-787


    Higham, J.P., Heistermann, M. & Maestripieri, D. 2013. The endocrinology of male rhesus macaque social and reproductive status: a test of the challenge and social stress hypotheses. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 67: 19-30


    Allen, W.L. & Higham, J.P. 2013. Analyzing visual signals as visual scenes. American Journal of Primatology 75: 664-682


    Allen, W.A., Baddeley, R.J., Cuthill, I.C. & Scott-Samuel, N.E. (2013) A quantitative test of the predicted relationships between countershading and lighting environment. The American Naturalist 180: 762-776


    Higham, J.P., Heistermann, M., Saggau, C., Agil, M., Perwitasari-Farajallah, D. & Engelhardt, A. 2012. Sexual signaling in the crested macaque and the evolution of primate fertility signals. BMC Evolutionary Biology 12: 89


    Mandalaywala, T.M., Higham, J.P., Heistermann, M. & Maestripieri, D. 2011. Infant bystanders modulate the effects of ovarian hormones on socio-sexual behaviour in free-ranging female rhesus macaques. Behaviour 148: 1137-1155


    Higham, J.P., Girard-Buttoz, C., Engelhardt, A. & Heistermann, M. 2011 Urinary C-peptide of insulin as a non-invasive marker of nutritional status: some practicalities. PLoS One 6: e22398


    Higham, J.P., Hughes, K.D., Brent, L.J.N., Dubuc, C., Engelhardt, A., Heistermann, M., Maestripieri, D., Santos, L.R & Stevens, M. 2011. Familiarity affects assessment of facial signals of female fertility by free-ranging male rhesus macaques. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 278: 3452-3458


    Hoffman, C.L., Higham, J.P., Heistermann, M., Prendergast, B., Coe, C. & Maestripieri, D. 2011. Immune function and HPA axis activity in free-ranging rhesus macaques. Physiology and Behavior 104: 507-514


    Girard-Buttoz, C., Higham, J.P., Heistermann, M., Wedegärtner, S., Maestripieri, D. & Engelhardt, A. 2011. Urinary c-peptide measurement as a marker of nutritional status in macaques. PLoS One 6: e18042


    Higham, J.P., Heistermann, M. & Maestripieri, D. 2011. The energetics of male-male endurance rivalry in rhesus macaques. Animal Behaviour 81: 1001-1007


    Higham, J.P., Barr, C.S., Hoffman, C.L., Mandalaywala, T.M., Parker, K.J. & Maestripieri, D. 2011. Mu-opioid receptor (OPRM1) variation, oxytocin levels and maternal behavior in free-ranging rhesus macaques. Behavioral Neuroscience 125: 131-136


    De Vere, R., Warren, Y., Nicholas, A., MacKenzie, M.E. & Higham, J.P. 2011. Nest site ecology of the Cross River gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli) in the Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary, Cameroon, with special reference to anthropogenic influence. American Journal of Primatology 73: 253-26


    Higham, J.P. & Maestripieri, D. 2010. Revolutionary coalitions in male rhesus macaques. Behaviour 147: 1889-1908


    Higham, J.P., Vitale, A.B., Mas-Rivera, A., Ayala, J.E. & Maestripieri, D. 2010. Measuring salivary analytes from free-ranging monkeys. Physiology & Behavior 101: 601-607


    Hoffman, C.L., Higham, J.P., Mas-Rivera, A., Ayala, J.E. & Maestripieri, D. 2010. Terminal investment and senescence in rhesus macaques on Cayo Santiago. Behavioral Ecology 21: 972-978


    Higham, J.P., Brent, L.J.N., Dubuc, C., Accamando, A,K., Engelhardt, A., Gerald, M.S., Heistermann, M. & Stevens, M. 2010. Color signal information content and the eye of the beholder: a case study in the rhesus macaque. Behavioral Ecology 21: 739-746


    Higham, J.P. MacLarnon, A.M., Heistermann, M., Ross, C. & Semple, S. 2009. Self-directed behaviours and faecal glucocorticoid levels are not correlated in female wild olive baboons. Stress 12: 526-533


    Higham, J.P. Primate Coloration – An introduction to the special issue. 2009. International Journal of Primatology 30: 749-751


    Marty, J.M., Higham, J.P., Gadsby, E.L., & Ross, C. 2009 Color, dominance and social and sexual behavior in male drills. International Journal of Primatology 30: 807-823


    Stevens, M., Stoddard, M.C., & Higham, J.P. 2009. Studying primate color: towards visual system dependent methods. International Journal of Primatology 30: 893-917


    Higham, J.P., Semple, S. MacLarnon, A., Heistermann, M. & Ross, C. 2009. Female reproductive signals, and male mating behavior, in the olive baboon Hormones and Behavior 55: 60-67


    Higham, J.P., Warren, Y., Adanu, J. Bubu, U. MacLarnon, A., Sommer, V. & Ross, C. 2009. Living on the edge: Life-history of olive baboons at Gashaka-Gumti National Park, Nigeria. American Journal of Primatology 71: 293-304


    Higham, J.P., MacLarnon, A., Ross, C., Heistermann, M. & Semple, S. 2008 Baboon sexual swellings: Information content of size and color. Hormones and Behavior 53: 452-462


    Higham, J.P. Heistermann, M., Ross, C., Semple, S. & MacLarnon, A. 2008. The timing of ovulation with respect to sexual swelling detumescence in wild olive baboons. Primates 49: 295-299


    Higham, J.P., Ross, C., Warren, Y., Heistermann, M. & MacLarnon, A. 2007 Reduced reproductive function in wild baboons (Papio hamadryas anubis) related to natural consumption of the African black plum (Vitex doniana). Hormones and Behavior 52: 384-390


    Asakura, T., Umemura, K., Nakazawa, Y., Hirose, H., Higham, J.P. & Knight, D. 2007 Some observations on the structure and function of the spinning apparatus in the silkworm Bombyx mori. Biomacromolecules 8: 175-181


    Higham, J.P. & Gosler, A.G. 2006 Speckled eggs: water loss and incubation behaviour in the Great tit Parus major. Oecologia 149: 561-570


    Gosler, A.G., Higham, J.P. & Reynolds, S.J. 2005 Why are birds’ eggs speckled? Ecology Letters 8: 1105-1113


    Book Chapters & Encyclopedia Entries


    Winters, S., Petersdorf, M. & Higham, J.P. 2019. Charles Darwin and selection in relation to sex in the colors of monkeys.

    In: Darwin’s roadmap to the curriculum: Evolutionary studies in Higher Education. Oxford University Press: New York.


    Petersen R.M. 2019. Female choice.

    In: Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior, Vonk J & Shackelford TK (eds). Springer, Cham. In press (early access available online).

    Petersen R.M. 2019. Ejaculate.

    In: Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior, Vonk J & Shackelford TK (eds). Springer, Cham. In press (early access available online).


    Winters S. 2019. Aposematism.

    In: Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior, Vonk J & Shackelford TK (eds). Springer, Cham. In press (early access available online).

    Winters S. 2019. Ornamentation.

    In: Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior, Vonk J & Shackelford TK (eds). Springer, Cham. In press (early access available online).


    Petersen R.M., Dubuc C., Higham J.P. 2018. Facial displays of dominance in non-human primates.
    In: The Facial Displays of Leaders. Ed Senior, C. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.


    Petersdorf, M. & Higham, J.P. 2017. Mating systems, Primates.

    In: International Encyclopedia of Biological Anthropology. John Wiley and Sons, Inc. Hoboken: New Jersey.


    Higham, J.P. 2017. Sperm competition.
    In: The International Encyclopedia of Primatology. Wiley Blackwell. Hoboken: New Jersey.


    Higham, J.P. & Petersdorf, M. 2017. Sexual swellings.
    In: The International Encyclopedia of Primatology. Wiley Blackwell. Hoboken: New Jersey.


    Petersdorf, M. & Higham, J.P. 2017. Mating systems.
    In: The International Encyclopedia of Primatology. Wiley Blackwell. Hoboken: New Jersey.


    Higham, J.P. 2016. Multimodal Communication.

    In: The missing lemur link: an ancestral step in human evolution (Palagi, E. & Norscia I.) Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.


    Higham, J.P. & Dubuc, C. 2015. The evolution of female fertility signals in macaques.
    In: eLS (Encyclopedia of Life Sciences). Wiley Blackwell. Hoboken: New Jersey. DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0024968


    Higham, J.P. & Winters, S. 2015. Color and mate choice in nonhuman animals.

    In: The handbook of color psychology Eds Elliot, A.J. & Fairchild, M.D. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK. pp 502-530. ISBN: 978-1-107-04323-7


    Higham, J.P. 2013. Primate visual signals.

    In: McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science and Technology 2014. McGraw-Hill Professional: New York


    Warren, Y., Higham, J.P., MacLarnon, A. & Ross, C. 2011. Crop-raiding and commensalism: the costs and benefits of living with humans.

    In: Primates of Gashaka Eds. Sommer, V & Ross, C. Developments in primatology: progress and prospects. Springer. Series Ed. Tuttle, R.H.


    Ross, C., Warren, Y., MacLarnon, A. & Higham, J.P. 2011. How different are Gashaka’s baboons? A comparison of forest-living and open-country populations.

    In: Primates of Gashaka Eds. Sommer, V & Ross, C. Developments in primatology: progress and prospects. Springer. Series Ed. Tuttle, R.H.


    Other journal publications


    Setchell, J.M., Fernandez-Duque, E. Higham, J.P., Rothman, J.M., Schulke, O. 2016. Editorial: Changes and clarifications to the policies of the International Journal of Primatology to promote transparency and open communication.

    International Journal of Primatology 37: 617-627.


    DeCasien, A.R., Evans, K.D., Fuong, H., Lee, D.S., Petersdorf, M., Petersen, R.M., Shackelford, C.M. (2016). Crickette M. Sanz, Josep Call, and Christophe Boesch (Eds.): Tool Use in Animals: Cognition and Ecology.

    International Journal of Primatology 37: 608-611.


    Petersdorf, M. & Higham, J.P. 2015. Katja Liebal, Bridget M. Waller, Anne M. Burrows, Katie E. Slocombe: Primate Communication: A Multimodal Approach.

    International Journal of Primatology 36: 1055-1059


    Winters, S. & Higham, J.P. 2015. Martin Stevens: Sensory Ecology, Behaviour, and Evolution.

    International Journal of Primatology 36: 205-208


    Dubuc, C. & Higham, J.P. 2014. Quite the complexion: rhesus monkey face redness is passed on to their offspring, and affects their reproductive fitness.

    Biosphere 2: 50-55


    Winters, S., Dunayer, E.S., Petersdorf, M., Simons, N.D., Tinsman, J. 2014. Primatology and Conservation in Hanoi, Vietnam.

    Evolutionary Anthropology 23: 201-204


    Higham, J.P., Amann, A.L., Bryer, M.A.H., Thompson, N.A. & Winters, S. 2013. Review of “The Evolution of Primate Societies” (Eds. John C. Mitani, Josep Call, Peter M. Kappeler, Ryne A. Palombit & Joan B. Silk).

    International Journal of Primatology 34: 1298-1303


    Higham, J.P. 2011. Review of “The Japanese Macaques” (Eds., Naofumi, N., Nakamichi, N. & Sugiura, H.).

    International Journal of Primatology 32: 1033-1036


    Semple, S., Higham, J.P., MacLarnon, A., Ross, C. & Lehmann, J. 2010. Comment on ‘Pan Thanatology’.

    Current Biology www.cell.com/current-biology/comments/S0960-9822(10)00145-4


    Wiseman, R., Warren, Y., Nicholas, A., MacKenzie, M., & Higham, J.P. 2008. A GIS habitat map for the Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary, Cameroon.

    Gorilla Journal 37: 12-14


    Higham, J.P. & Bennett, D. 2008. Some observations on wildlife, and wildlife consumption, in Eastern Nigeria.

    Gorilla Journal. 36: 11-13

  • PhD Program in Anthropology

    New York University

    The research and training program in our department is distinguished by its unique commitment to integrating laboratory-based and field-based research. We have state-of-the-art laboratories in genetics and molecular systematics, endocrinology, and in paleoanthropology, with superb facilities for both research and teaching in these areas. In addition, faculty and students are conducting primatological and paleoanthropological research at sites in South America, Asia and Africa.

  • Teaching

    A variety of recent courses taught (click to download syllabi)

    Fall 2022


    ANTH-UA 2

    Human Evolution


    ANTH-UA 2


  • Affiliations