Jessica Rothman

Professor, Primate Ecology
Hunter College Of The City University Of New York

Honorary Lecturer, Zoology
Makerere University, Uganda

My research program primarily focuses on primate nutritional ecology and I conduct field research in Uganda. My lab typically does fieldwork in Uganda to collect behavioral data, and we bring plant and fecal samples back for analysis in our lab. If you are interested in joining my lab as an undergraduate or graduate student, I would encourage you to send me an email with your specific interests, background, and potential questions you might wish to consider during your graduate work.

Graduate studies at the master's level are offered through the MA program in Anthropology at Hunter College, and at the PhD level are offered through the CUNY Graduate Center. I am a member of the graduate faculty in Anthropology and a Core member of the New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology (NYCEP). All students in the PhD program participate in the NYCEP program. Funding at the PhD level is offered through competitive scholarships from NYCEP and adjunct teaching positions at CUNY in Physical Anthropology.

I will be recruiting a new PhD student to begin in Fall 2017 with a NYCEP/Hunter full graduate fellowship. The successful applicant will be 1) interested in nutritional ecology - most specifically ecology of nutritional choices of primates, and 2) willing to work on a field project in Uganda either in Kibale or Bwindi.

Please note that I am not looking for students that will *only* consider projects on mountain gorillas.

I am always interested in working with motivated undergraduates at Hunter who are interested in primate nutrition and would like to do an independent study in our lab.

Current Post Doctoral Fellows and Graduate Students

Sagan Friant, NSF Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Fellow, Nutritional drivers of bushmeat hunting in west Africa

Vanina Fernandez, Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow, Nutrition of marsh deer in Argentina

Photos coming soon!

caley johnson

Caley Johnson, PhD student, NSF GRF Fellow, Nutritional ecology of forest baboons


Margaret Bryer, PhD student, Social nutrition in redtail monkeys

Emma Cancelliere, PhD student, NSERC fellow, Maternal-infant nutrition, life-history strategies of mountain gorillas

Santiago Cassalett, PhD student, Nutritional ecology

Katarina Evans, PhD student, Nutritional ecology (co-supervised with L. Swedell)

Nora Baynes, MA student, primate socio-sexual behavior in relation to nutrition



Makerere University Students


John Justice Tibesigwa, MSc student, Zoology, Makerere University, Gorillas feeding in farms: nutritional aspects of crop-raiding by gorillas



Richard Muhabwe, MSc student, Zoology, Makerere University, Edge effects on primate ecology

Simplicious Gessa, MA student, Communications, Makerere University, Using communication to promote effective and sustainable ecotourism


Chemonges Amusa, MSc student, Environment and Natural Resource Management, Makerere University, survey of the effects of pesticides sprayed on tea plantations on soils and plants in neighboring protected areas

Moreen Uwimbabazi, PhD student, Biology, Makerere University, Nutritional Ecology of Chimpanzees (supervised with Richard Wrangham and Gil Basuta)



Becky and Whitney in Kibale National Park, Uganda observing red tail monkeys.


Bianca and John Justice at the equator en route to Bwindi

Richard making a transect for his study on edge effects

Natalia and Hillary learning plants and watching monkeys


Summer 2014 Primate Ecology and Nutrition Group