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Jessica Lynch Alfaro

Department of Anthropology and Institute for Society and Genetics

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Research Interests

Dr. Jessica Lynch Alfaro is an Associate Professor in ISG. She is a member of the IUCN Primate Specialist Group and co-editor for the journal “Neotropical Primates”, a publication of Conservation International. Lynch Alfaro is a biological anthropologist whose research centers on the evolution of behavioral and morphological diversity in Neotropical primates. Her research focuses most strongly on understanding the diversity within capuchin monkeys (Sapajus and Cebus), and incorporates phylogenomic and biogeographic analyses. Like humans, capuchins are a recent and successful radiation of weedy generalists, able to survive even in marginal habitats through extractive foraging and tool use. Populations of capuchin monkeys in the wild differ markedly from one another in social and sexual behaviors and in grouping patterns, and thus provide an excellent system for comparative study of both cultural and genetic variation.