Wildlife Conservation Society

WCS maintains over three hundred living primates at the Bronx Zoo, the Central Park Zoo and St. Catherine's Survival Center. The collections are taxonomically diverse and include over 30 species and subspecies of primates, with examples of lemurids, lorisids, callitrichines, cebines, atelines, pitheciines, cercopithecines, colobines and hominoids. In conjunction with its policy of developing more naturalistic settings for the primates, the zoo has, in recent years, successfully established breeding groups or pairs of lemurs, lion-tailed macaques, Japanese macaques, gelada baboons, proboscis monkeys, slow lorises and gibbons. Under the auspices of WCS, NYCEP graduate students are able to conduct various types of non-intrusive behavioral research on a wide variety of free-ranging primates at the zoological parks managed by the WCS as well as participate in conservation research projects at international WCS sites.

WCS is a broadly-based conservation organization, and two current central staff members of the WCS International section (Robinson and Vedder) are primatologists, while McCann is Curator of Primates in the Bronx Zoo/Wildlife Conservation Park. Robinson and colleagues oversee a large network of field research and conservation projects throughout the tropics, many of which are in primate-rich habitats. WCS also awards small research grants for conservation-related fieldwork to pre-doctoral and Ph.D. level scientists through its Research Fellowship Program. The field staff also trains selected local scientists through informal apprenticeships. The NYCEP faculty at WCS interact with graduate students through internships and as members of dissertation committees. A major GIS section is directed by NYCEP resource faculty member Sanderson, and students can undertake internships which prepare them to add a GIS component to their dissertation research.

Core Faculty


Colleen McCann

Curator Department of Mammals Wildlife Conservation Society Adjunct Professor Department of Anthropology The Graduate Center City University of New York

Research interests: Primate socioendocrinology; Primate behavior, reproduction and evolutionary history; Conservation biology

Resource Faculty


Elizabeth Bennett

Vice President for Species Conservation Wildlife Conservation Society

Research interests: primate conservation, South East Asia, effects of hunting and logging on wildlife


John G. Robinson

Chief Conservation Officer Executive Vice President, Conservation and Science Wildlife Conservation Society Adjunct Professor Department of Anthropology The Graduate Center City University of New York

Research interests: conservation biology; tropical forest conservation; ethnozoology, primate sociobiology and ecology; evolutionary biology; wildlife hunting and trading


Eric Sanderson

Senior Conservation Ecologist Wildlife Conservation Society

Research interests: wildlife conservation biology; human impact on ecology and the environment; The Mannahatta Project