Collection Overview

The Anthropological Primate Collection features over 300 skeletons of primates, with an emphasis on macaques and on the lemurs of Madagascar. Many of these specimens were salvaged from primate centers and are thus not wild-caught. Some fossil lemurs from Madagascar are also available for study here. Recently, we have collected biological samples from living lemurs and baboons to build a primate host and microbiome collection.

Curator: Dr. Jason Kamilar

My research examines the ecology and evolution of primates and other mammals. Some of my current projects include: the investigation of the proximate and ultimate mechanisms driving primate hair morphology variation, integrating fossil and extant species data to examine how primate communities change through space and time, and exploring the evolution of primate behavior and life history. I teach a variety of primate-focused courses through the Anthropology Department, including Primate Behavior, Primate Conservation, and Primate Evolution. I welcome undergraduate and graduate students interested in research to contact me for current opportunities.

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Curator Emeritus: Dr. Laurie Godfrey

I am a biological anthropologist and paleontologist with interests in nonhuman primate anatomy and evolution. I study how individual development provides clues to behavior and to the "life history strategies" of extinct species. I use a variety of techniques to reconstruct the behavior and "lifeways" of extinct animals, with the ultimate goal of being able to reconstruct whole communities of primates in the past, and their transitions to the present.

My particular expertise is the lemurs of Madagascar, where I have worked in the field for several decades. On this great island, I have worked with colleagues to better understand the recent extinctions of the "megafauna" (including the giant lemurs).

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Find more information about the UMass Primate Collections.