Doctoral/Graduate Students

Beth Archie (
Beth worked on the relationship between social behavior and genetic relatedness in wild African elephants, in Amboseli National Park for her Ph.D. She used microsatellite markers to estimate pairwise relatedness between females, and examined the extent to which relatedness predicted social affiliation. Beth is currently a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame. See her website.

Patrick Chiyo (
Patrick studied the social structure and demography of African elephants, completing his PhD in 2010. After 3 years as the Moreau Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame, Patrick is now an independent consultant in wildlife ecology in Nairobi.

Courtney Fitzpatrick (
Courtney studied sexual selection in the Amboseli baboons and completed her PhD in 2012. After several years as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent), and an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at Indiana University, she is now Assistant Professor of Biology at Texas A&M University.

Julie Hollister-Smith (
Julie worked on male reproductive behavior in African elephants from several perspectives and completed her PhD in 2005. She is currently the Director of Evaluation and Process Improvement for Research at the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute, Oregon Health and Science University.

Dagan Loisel (
Dagan analyzed MHC genes in the Amboseli baboon population, completing his PhD in 2007. After a stint as a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Chicago Dagan is now Professor of Biology at St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont.

Jenny Tung (
Jenny examined genetic variation in baboons.  Currently, she is the Director of the Primate Behavior and Evolution Department in the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.

Mercy Akinyi (
Mercy completed her PhD in the Biology Department in 2017.  Her research interests are geared to the understanding of the relationship between the environmental factors and genetic mechanisms that affect animal behavior and welfare (including risk to predisposition to disease), particularly for non-human primates in their natural environment and in captivity.  She is currently a research scientist at Institute of Primate Research in Kenya, and a collaborator of the Amboseli Baboon Research Project.

Amanda Lea (
Amanda completed her PhD in the  University Program in Ecology in 2017, advised jointly by Jenny Tung and Susan Alberts. She is interested in the impact of early life environment (both social and ecological) on behavior throughout the life course, as well as the molecular processes that mediate such long lasting effects. Amanda is co-advised by Susan Alberts and Jenny Tung.  After several years as a Helen Hays Whitney Postdoctoral Fellow at Princeton University she is now Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences at Vanderbilt University.  Contact her at her email above or check out her website at

Emily McLean (
Emily finished her PhD in May 2018.  She is Assistant Professor of Biology at Oxford College, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.

Matthew Zipple (
Matthew finished his Ph.D. in 2021 and is currently a Klarman Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell University.  He is especially interested in the fitness implications of interactions between adults and immature individuals, and how such interactions shape social structures and behaviors.

Allison Galezo (
Ali finished her MS degree in 2021,completing a thesis on mechanisms of inbreeding avoidance in the Amboseli baboons.  She has chosen a career in industry and now works as a Data Scientist.

Emily Levy (
Emily finished her Ph.D. in 2022 and is currently a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Kim Rosvall Lab at Indiana University.  She is interested in the ecology, physiology, and evolution of social behavior.

Post-Doctoral Students and Visiting Researchers

Jason Buchan (
Jason was a post-doctoral researcher in the lab from 2001 – 2004. He worked on a microsatellite analysis of the Amboseli baboon population (see Buchan et al. 2003, Buchan et al. 2005). Jason’s previous work included a detailed paternity analysis in the Tasmanian native hen, and a genetic analysis of saltwater and freshwater crocodiles in Australia. He is currently a forensic geneticist in the Tasmanian Police Department.

Robbie Burger (
Robbie’s research combines energetic theory with field and macroecological studies of space use, sociality, life history, and population demography in mammals including humans.  He is currently an Assistant Professor of Biology at the University of Kentucky.  More information is available at his website.

Fernando Campos (
Fernando’s work in the lab focused on understanding the drivers and evolutionary origins of disparities in health, reproduction, and survival.  He is now Assistant Professor of Anthropology at University of Texas San Antonio.

Marie Charpentier (
Marie studied the genetic background and relatedness effects of fitness in baboons. She is currently a researcher at the Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive at CNRS Montpellier.

Scott Davidson (
Scott was a postdoctoral researcher in population ecology who studied the population dynamics of the Amboseli baboon population. He is currently a research scientist at the Conte Anadromous Fish Research Center with the USGS in Turners Falls, MA.

Jordi Galbany (
Jordi studies dental microwear, tooth wear and tooth morphology in Amboseli baboons and other primates. Previously he studied dental microwear in several primate species in order to establish a baseline pattern usable for the interpretation of fossil primates and hominid diets. He is currently a Lecturer in the Faculty of Psychology and University of Barcelona.  See his website.

Jacob Moorad (
Jake studies how social interactions and intra-sex competition for reproductive resources shape the evolution of aging. Most of his work takes a quantitative genetic or otherwise statistical perspective that facilitates more seamless integrations between theory and empirical studies.  He is currently a Lecturer of Quantitative Genetics in the School of Biological Science at the University of Edinburgh.

Anthony Nsubuga (
Anthony studied the ecological genetics of nonhuman primates. While in the lab, he developed X- and Y-linked microsatellites for baboons. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow in Genetics, Conservation and Research for Endangered Species at the Zoological Society of San Diego.

Nick Oguge (
Nick was a Visiting Associate Professor in Duke’s Biology Department from 2001-2003. His interests include ecology and conservation of small mammals in fragmented habitats, and the ecology of vertebrate pests. He is currently Director of the Centre for Advanced Studies in Environmental Law and Policy at the University of Nairobi.

Patrick Onyango (
Partrick’s  research investigates sources of variability in individual fitness in large mammals.  While in the lab, he focused on non-genetic parental determinants of offspring fitness and the operation of sexual selection in savannah baboons.  He is currently a Lecturer at Maseno University in Maseno, Kenya.

Jay Storz (
Jay was a postdoctoral researcher in ecological and population genetics. He is currently a Professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Russell Van Horn (
Russ was a behavioral ecologist post-doctoral researcher. He analyzed patterns of relatedness in the Amboseli baboon population and how they influence behavior. He is currently a researcher in Applied Animal Ecology, Conservation & Research for Endangered Species (CRES) at the Zoological Society of San Diego.

Anja Widdig (
Anja studied the behavioral ecology of nonhuman primates. She is currently a Professor at the University of Leipzig and the group leader of the Junior Research Group of Primate Kin Selection at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

Undergraduates who completed Independent Study Projects in the lab

Tom Morrison, ( Biology Major, graduated 2002
Tom spent a year in Amboseli working with the Amboseli Elephant Research Project, collecting intensive behavioral data on female social relationships. He is currently a Ph.D. student at Dartmouth University.

Tayeashai Dickens, BAA major, graduated 2003
Tay entered and analyed data on patterns of predation on and by baboons, from the long term records of the Amboseli Baboon Project.

Mihai Mitetelu, Inderdepartmental Biology/Psychology major, graduated 2003
Mihai analyzed the ontogeny of rank acquisition by juvenile male baboons, of the Amboseli Baboon Project database.

Graham Reynolds, Biology Major, graduated 2004
Graham spent the summer of 2003 studying poison dart frogs in Panama and analyzed data on patterns of mate choice in this species.

Jeanne Rittschof, Biology Major, graduated 2004
Jeanne analyzed genetic variation in the baboon orthologue of the HFE gene, a gene implicated in iron absorbtion that shows interesting polymorphisms in humans.

Ebony Scales, Biology major, graduated 2004
Ebony worked with Beth and Julie, extracting DNA from elephant dung.

Chris Martin, Biology Major, graduated 2005
Chris studied patterns of web site choice in spiders.

Andrew Bouley, Biology Major, graduated 2007
Andrew studied malarial parasites in baboon blood. He analyzed the behavioral, demographic, and genetic factors that enhance susceptibility to these parasites within the Amboseli baboon population.

Yuan Zhu, Biology Major, graduated 2007
Yuan worked on genetic analysis of the Amboseli baboons.

Adrienne Taylor, Biology Major, graduated 2008
Adrienne examined interactions among telomere length, age, and social and environmental stress in three baboon populations. She used the Amboseli population to analyze social stress in a wild population.

Rubayet Hossain, Biology Major, graduated 2011
Rubayet studied the fitness consequences of introgressive hybridization between different Amboseli baboons.

Anna Lee, Biology Major, graduated 2019
Anna completed an honors thesis.  She is now the Social Media Coordinator for Duke University Communications.

Melina Nolas, Biology Major, graduated 2019
Melina completed an honors thesis.  She later completed a Master’s program in Animals and Public Policy at the Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine, and now she works for the ASPCA in their Puppy Mill Initiative Program.

Georgia Young, Biology Major, graduated 2020
Georgia completed an honors thesis.  She is now a student at the University of California-Berkeley.

Madison Griffin, Biology Major, graduated 2023 (expected)
Madison completed an independent study in 2020, investigating the age at which Amboseli baboons begin grooming.  She is now working on an honors thesis at Duke in the Silliman Lab.

Aren Kalash, Biology Major, graduated 2021
Aren completed an honors thesis.  She is now in medical school.

Maggie Pickard, Biology Major, graduated 2021
Maggie completed an honors thesis in 2021.

Colby Cheshire, Biology Major, graduated 2024 (expected)
Colby completed an independent study in 2021, investigating the age at which Amboseli baboons begin “winning” in agonistic interactions.  He is still an undergraduate at Duke.

Christine Adjangba (, Biology Major, graduated 2021
Christine completed an honors thesis, studying the relationship between thyroid hormone in mothers and the sex of their infant.  After graduating, they worked as a lab technician in the hormone lab, assisting with hormone extraction, purification, and analysis.  They are now a lab technician at Arizona State University, working with Dr. Noah Snyder-Mackler.



Karen Drysdale (
Karen was the database technician for the lab. She is currently working as a scientist for the Tasmanian Police Department.

Leah Gerber (
Leah was a database technician for the lab who worked on maintaining and updating the Babase database. She is currently working in the Department of Surgery at Duke University Medical Center.

Shannon Lyons
Shannon was a Master’s in Environmental Management from the Nicholas School of Environemental and Ocean Sciences. Her work involved extracting and analyzing data from the Amboseli Baboon Project database, particularly on male maturation and dispersal movements.

Lacey Maryott (
Lacey was the manager of Babase, the baboon project database, from 2007-2011. She made many contributions to the development of the database.

Toby Matthews (
Toby was a data technician in the lab who worked on microsatellite analysis and data management. He is a Certified Rolfer, movement therapist, and science enthusiast. He is a founding partner at InsideOut Body Therapies in Durham, NC, and is on the Faculty of the 2008 American Dance Festival.

Shauna Morrow (
Shauna was the lab manager from 2009-2012. She remains close with the Alberts lab both geographically and professionally in her new role as lab manager for Jenny Tung in Duke’s Department of Evolutionary Anthropology.

Jeff Stroud
Jeff was a lab technician from 2009-2012. He worked on associating gene expression with observed social behavior in baboons. He is currently working in Research Triangle Park, NC.

Sophie Brenner
Sophie was a lab technician in the hormone lab and assisted with the lab procedures for the extraction, purification and analysis of hormones from the feces of the Amboseli baboons.