Jessica Lynch


Jessica Lynch

Associate Professor

Office: 1323 Rolfe Hall


Phone: 310-206-1889

Personal Website

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Dr. Jessica Lynch is the Associate Director for ISG and co-editor for the journal “Neotropical Primates”, a publication of Conservation International. She is a biological anthropologist whose research centers on the evolution of diversity in socially learned behaviors, mating strategies and social structuring in Neotropical primates. Her research focuses most strongly on the genus Cebus, the capuchin monkeys. 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.

Her research is funded in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0833375.

Pleistocene diversification of living squirrel monkeys

Research Projects
Biological And Cultural Evolution In Neotropical Primates


Lynch Alfaro JW, Boubli JP, Olson LE, DiFiore A, Wilson B, Gutierrez-Espeleta GA, Chiou KL, Schulte M, Neitzel S, Ross V, Schwochow D, Farias I, Nguyen MTT, Janson CH, & Alfaro ME. (2012) Explosive Pleistocene range expansion leads to widespread Amazonian sympatry between robust and gracile capuchin monkeys.  Journal of Biogeography 39, 272-288.

Lynch Alfaro JW, Matthews L., Boyette AH, Macfarlan S J, Phillips KA, Falotico T, Ottoni E, Verderane M, Izar P, Schulte M, Melin A, Fedigan L, Janson C and Alfaro ME.  (2012) Anointing variation across wild capuchin populations:  a review of material preferences, bout frequency and sociality of anointing in Cebus and Sapajus. American Journal of Primatology 74: 299-314

Lynch Alfaro JW, Silva Jr J de S e,  Rylands AB.  (2012) How different are robust and gracile capuchin monkeys?  An argument for the use of Sapajus and Cebus. American Journal of Primatology 74: 273-286

Santana S, Lynch Alfaro JW, Alfaro ME.  (2012) Adaptive evolution of facial colour pattterns in primates. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. doi:10.1098/rspb.2011.2326

Boubli JP, Rylands AB,  Farias IP, Alfaro ME, Lynch Alfaro JW.  Cebus Phylogenetic Relationships: A Preliminary Reassessment of the Diversity of the Untufted Capuchin Monkeys. American Journal of Primatology 74: 381-394.

Chiou, K. L., Pozzi, L., Lynch Alfaro, J. W., and Di Fiore, A. (2011) Pleistocene diversification of living squirrel monkeys (Saimiri spp.) inferred from complete mitochondrial genome sequences. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 59, 736-745.

Rangel-Negrin, A, Alfaro, J. L., Valdez, R. A., Romano, M. C., and Serio-Silva, J. C.  (2009) Stress in Yucatan spider monkeys: effects of environmental conditions on fecal cortisol levels in wild and captive populations. Animal Conservation 12 (5): 496-502.

Lynch Alfaro, J. W. (2008)  Scream-Embrace displays in wild black-horned capuchin monkeys. American Journal of Primatology 70(6): 551-559.

Lynch Alfaro, J. W. (2007)  Subgrouping patterns in a group of wild Cebus apella nigritus. International Journal of Primatology 28(2): 271-289.

Serio-Silva, J. C., Lynch Alfaro, J. W., Hernandez Salazar, L.T. (2007), ECOLOGY AND BEHAVIOR OF TROPICAL PRIMATES, inInternational Commission on Tropical Biology and Natural Resources, [Eds. Kleber Del Claro et al.], in Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), Developed under the Auspices of the UNESCO, Eolss Publishers, Oxford ,UK, [].

Lynch Alfaro, J. W. (2005)  Male mating strategies and reproductive constraints in a group of wild tufted capuchin monkeys, Cebus apella nigritus. American Journal of Primatology 67(3): 313-328.

Altmann, J., Lynch, J.W., Nguyen, N., Alberts, S.C. and Gesquiere, L.R. (2004) Life-history correlates of steroid concentrations in wild peripartum baboons.  American Journal of Primatology 64: 95-106.

Lynch, J.W., Altmann, J., Njahira, M.N., Rubenstein, N. (2003) Concentrations of four fecal steroids in wild baboons: short-term storage conditions and consequences for data interpretation.  General and Comparative Endocrinology132: 264-271.

Strier, K.B., Lynch, J.W., and Ziegler, T.E.  (2003) Hormonal changes during the mating and conception seasons of wild northern muriquis (Brachyteles arachnoides hypoxanthus).  American Journal of Primatology 61: 85-99.

Lynch, J.W., Ziegler, T.E., and Strier, K.B.  (2002) Individual and seasonal variation in fecal testosterone and cortisol in wild male tufted capuchin monkeys, Cebus apella nigritus.  Hormones and Behavior 41: 275.


Ph.D. Anthropology, University of Wisconsin Madison

M.S. Anthropology, University of Wisconsin Madison

B.A. English, University of California Davis