Karen B. Strier is Vilas Research Professor and Irven DeVore Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After graduating from Swarthmore College in 1980, she received her MA in 1981 and her PhD in 1986 in Anthropology from Harvard University. She is an international authority on the endangered northern muriqui monkey, which she has been studying in the Brazilian Atlantic forest since 1982. Her pioneering, long-term field research has been critical to conservation efforts on behalf of this species and has been influential in broadening comparative perspectives on primate behavioral and ecological diversity. In addition to NAS, she is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She received an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree from the University of Chicago, and Distinguished Primatologist Awards from the American Society of Primatology and the Midwestern Primate Interest Group. She has received research, teaching, and service awards from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Lifetime Honorary Memberships from the Brazilian Primatological Society and the Latin American Primatological Society. She is the recipient of the 2020 Prêmio Muriqui, an award given by the Biosphere Reserve of the Atlantic Forest and considered to be one of the most important tributes to environmental action in Brazil.

Research Interests

My main research interests are to understand the behavioral ecology of primates from a comparative perspective, and to contribute to conservation efforts on their behalf. The northern muriqui ( Brachyteles hypoxanthus ), which I have been studying in Brazil?s Atlantic forest since 1982, are a model for comparisons with other primates as well as one of the most critically endangered primates in the world. One of the current priorities of my long-term field study is to understand how stochastic demographic fluctuations and individual life histories affect population viabilities and behavior. My lab is also interested in understanding population-level variation and its relevance to basic research and practice in behavioral ecology, conservation biology, and biological anthropology. We are dedicated to saving primates and their habitats around the world, but especially in Brazil.

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Primary Section

Section 51: Anthropology

Secondary Section

Section 63: Environmental Sciences and Ecology