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The New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology
(Established 1991)
Educational Program
Web Site:

Director: Eric Delson
Phone: 1 (212) 769-5992   Fax: 1 (212) 769-5842   E-Mail:
American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York 10024 UNITED STATES
Department: c/o Department of Vertebrate Paleontology
Institution: The New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology
Affiliations: The City University of New York; Columbia University; New York University; American Museum of Natural History; The Wildlife Conservation Society

Mission: NYCEP is a graduate training program in all aspects of the behavioral and evolutionary biology of primates, funded by National Science Foundation grants since 1992, most recently by the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) initiative. It consists of four degree-granting institutions: City University of New York (CUNY), Columbia University (CU), New York University (NYU), and the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), in collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). Evolutionary primatology is a discipline that draws its theory, methods, and empirical data from many areas within the biological sciences, anthropology, and geology. Our focus is on human as well as nonhuman primates from the perspectives of comparative morphology, paleontology and systematics, molecular and population genetics, behavior and ecology, and conservation biology.

Principal Research Programs: Behavioral biology, conservation and ecology: core faculty includes Cords, Higham, McCann, Rothman and Swedell; resource faculty includes Bennett, Delgado, Munshi-South, Robinson, Rockwell, Sanderson, Sterling, Tattersall and Terrace. Paleoanthropology, paleontology, geology and comparative morphology: core faculty includes Anton, Bailey, Delson, Flynn, Gilbert, Harcourt-Smith, Harrison, Holloway, Laitman, Pechenkina, Plummer, Pontzer, Rosenberger, Stefan and Williams; resource faculty includes Ashley, Aubry, Berggren, Bock, Bromage, Conard, DeMenocal, Feibel, Gannon, Gunnell, Harvati, Hemming, Hof, Hublin, Jolly, MacPhee, McPherron, Meng, Ni, Novacek, Reidenberg, Rohlf, Schaffler, St. John, Tattersall, Tryon, Van Couvering, Wahlert and White. Population genetics and molecular evolution: core faculty includes Disotell, Higham, Melnick, Raaum and Steiper; resource faculty includes de Salle, Hickerson, Jolly, Rockwell, Vigilant and Wheeler.

Training Opportunities: CUNY and NYU offer the Ph. D. in Anthropology with a specialty in the physical (=biological) subdiscipline; CU offers a Ph. D. in Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology, with a specialization in evolutionary primatology. AMNH offers a Ph. D. in Comparative Biology. NYU requires an M.A. qualification en route to the Ph. D., while M.A. and M. Phil. degrees are available at CUNY and CU. Students formally enroll in one of the three universities (or AMNH) but participate in an integrated and overarching training program which unites students and faculty of all five institutions. Students in this program take courses in all the above-listed areas at the three universities and AMNH, attend seminars that draw upon the staff of all five cooperating institutions, and have the opportunity to engage in original research in laboratories, museums, and in the field.

Financial Aid: NYCEP provides funds for research and travel support and coordinates course programs and seminars. The graduate programs of the three collaborating universities and AMNH offer full financial aid programs with regular fellowships (up to $30,000 per year for 4 years from the IGERT award, available only to US citizens, nationals and permanent residents) as well as special opportunities for minority students. Members of groups underrepresented in science are especially encouraged to apply. Appropriate undergraduate majors for NYCEP applicants include biological anthropology and other life sciences. Students apply to one or more cooperating universities and send a one-page NYCEP tracking form to Dr. Delson; this is available from the web site (see above). Applications can be obtained from NYCEP or university web sites or admissions offices. Annual application deadline is early January.

Number of Staff: 66

Associated Field Sites: Kakamega Forest, Kenya; Marina Cords; social behavior and ecology of Cercopithecidae and other primates.

Kibale National Park, Uganda and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda; Jessica Rothman; ecology and nutrition of Cercopithecidae and apes.

Filoha Hamadryas Project, Ethiopia; Larissa Swedell; based at the Filoha outpost of Awash National Park in Ethiopia and focused on the behavior, ecology, genetics, and endocrinology of hamadryas baboons. Affiliated with the Filoha Hamadryas Project is Save Awash National Park (, a not-for-profit conservation organization whose mission is to work with the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Agency and local communities to protect the Awash ecosystem and wildlife through informed resource management and local community integration.

Kanjera, Kenya; Tom Plummer; paleoanthropology of Plio-Pleistocene early humans.

Rusinga Island, Kenya; Will Harcourt-Smith; paleontology of Miocene beds yielding Proconsul and other primates.

Others in development.

Last Updated: 2012-08-15

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