Jill Pruetz

Walvoord Professor of Liberal Arts & Sciences – Biological Anthropologist

Dr. Jill Pruetz, Walvoord Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences, specializing in Biological Anthropology. As a primatologist, Dr. Pruetz has studied the behavior of non-human primates such as chimpanzees, spider monkeys, howling monkeys, tamarins, patas monkeys, and vervets in various locales. Countries in which she has conducted fieldwork include Peru, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Kenya, and Senegal. Dr. Pruetz is especially interested in the influence of ecology on primate and early human feeding, ranging, and social behavior. She currently has a research project in southeastern Senegal which has been funded by National Geographic Society and the National Science Foundation.The goal of this ongoing project is study or conduct research on chimps in a habitat similar to that of early hominids. Dr. Pruetz is also involved in teaching and conservation in the Neotropics. She is the co-founder of the non-profit organization DANTA, which is affiliated with the El Zota Biological Field Station in Costa Rica where she taught field courses on primate behavior and ecology. She has taught similar courses in Nicaragua, Panama, and other locales in Costa Rica.

Learn more about Dr. Pruetz’ life in and outside of science on “People Behind the Science.”


The Leakey Foundation sits down with Dr. Pruetz to discuss her work and experiences as a primatologist working in the field.

Des Moines’ KCWI interviews Dr. Pruetz about her research.

  • Spring 2012 “When ‘Humanitarianism’ Becomes ‘Development:’ The Politics of International Aid in Syria’s Palestinian Refugee Camps.” American Anthropologist.
  • Fall 2009: “Rethinking Camps: Palestinian Refugees in Damascus, Syria.” In Urban Life: Readings in the Anthropology of the City, 5th edition. George Gmelch, Robert Van Kemper and Walter P. Zenner, eds. Long Grove, Il: Waveland Press, Pp. 144-156.
  • Fall 2006: “Negotiating Rights: Palestinian Refugees and the Protection Gap.” Anthropological Quarterly, vol. 79 no. 4: 717-730.


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Curriculum Vitae