Megan Petersdorf

Department of Anthropology New York University


B.A. 2009, University of California, San Diego M.Res 2012, University of Roehampton, London M.A. 2016, New York University




Overview of Research

I study the evolution of reproductive strategies in primates, with a particular emphasis on sexual signals. I address my research questions through a combination of behavioral observations of primates in the field with endocrinology, genetics, and digital measurements of morphology. For my dissertation, I am studying the reproductive ecology of Kinda baboons at the Kasanka Baboon Project in Zambia.


Petersdorf, M. & Higham, J.P. (2017). Mating systems. In: The International Encyclopedia of Primatology. Wiley Blackwell. Hoboken: New Jersey. In Press


Higham, J.P. & Petersdorf, M. (2017). Sexual swellings. In: The International Encyclopedia of Primatology. Wiley Blackwell. Hoboken: New Jersey. In Press


Dubuc, C., Allen, W.L., Cascio, J., Lee, D.S., Maestripieri, D., Petersdorf, M., Winters, S., Higham, J.P. (2016). Who cares? Experimental attention biases provide new insights into a mammalian sexual signal. Behavioral Ecology 27 (1): 68-74.


Sommer, V., Lowe, A., Jesus, G., Alberts, N., Bouquet, Y., Petersdorf, M., MacGregor Inglis, D., Ross, C. (2016). Antelope predation by Nigerian forest baboons: ecological and behavioural correlates. Folia Primatologica 87: 67-90.


Petersdorf, M. (2016). Is the red facial coloration of male rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) subject to intra-sexual selection? [Master's thesis]. New York University: New York.


Petersdorf, M., Higham, J.P., Williams, S.A. (2015). What can the skeleton tell us about flanging? Hard-tissue markers of cheek flanges in Mandrillus [abstract]. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 156(S60): 251-252.


Petersdorf, M. & Higham, J.P. (2015). Katja Liebal, Bridget M. Waller, Anne M. Burrows, Katie E. Slocombe: Primate Communication: A Multimodal Approach. International Journal of Primatology 36: 1055-1059


Winters, S., Dunayer, E.S., Petersdorf, M., Simons, N.D., Tinsman, J. (2014) Primatology and Conservation in Hanoi, Vietnam. Evolutionary Anthropology 23: 201-204.


Petersdorf, M. (2012). Sexual swelling symmetry, individual quality, and attractiveness in wild female olive baboons (Papio anubis) [Master's thesis]. London (UK): University of Roehampton.