Faculty Profile for Dr. Jill Pruetz

profile photo for Dr. Jill Pruetz
Dr. Jill Pruetz
Professor — Anthropology
ELA 266
phone: (512) 245-8272

Biography Section

Biography and Education

I received a Bachelor's in Anthropology and one in Sociology at Texas State University (then Southwest Texas State) in 1989. My Ph.D. was awarded in 1999 in Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I studied vervet and patas monkey socioecology for my dissertation research, focusing on the influence that food availability had on female primate competition and dominance. I held a Postdoctoral position at Miami University (of Ohio) from 1999-2000, where I focused on assessing the presence and distribution of chimpanzees in savanna habitats in Senegal.

Since 2001, I have been the Principal Investigator of the Fongoli Savanna Chimpanzee Project in Senegal, where I have focused on the environmental pressures that influences ape behavior here and how such behavior differs from chimpanzees living in forested environments. I use these findings to try and inform our knowledge of early hominin behavioral ecology. I've studied primates in Kenya, Nicaragua, Panama, Costa Rica and Peru, as well as Senegal.

Teaching Interests

I teach biological anthropology classes and courses specific to primatology. I also lead field schools to Costa Rica to the El Zota Biological Field School, which I helped initiate in 1999.

Research Interests

I have been focused on chimpanzee behavioral ecology in a savanna environment for the past 18 years and plan to continue this research indefinitely. However I have also studied primates in Kenya, Nicaragua, Panama, Costa Rica and Peru, as well as in captive contexts, and I mentor student research in such areas as well.

Selected Scholarly/Creative Work

  • Pruetz, J. D. (2018). Nocturnal behavior in a diurnal ape: Chimpanzees at Fongoli, Senegal. American Journal of Physical Anthropology.
  • Pruetz, J. D., & Herzog, N. (2017). Chimpanzees at Fongoli, Senegal navigate a burned landscape. Current Anthropology, 58(S16), S337–S350.
  • Pruetz, J. D., Bertolani, P., Boyer-Ontl, K., Lindshield, S., Shelley, M., & Wessling, E. G. (2015). New evidence on the tool- assisted hunting behavior of chimpanzees in a savanna habitat at Fongoli, Senegal. Royal Society Open Science, 2.
  • Pruetz, J. D., & Bertolani, P. (2007). Savanna chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) hunt with tools. Current Biology, 17, 1–6.
  • Pruetz, J. D., Bogart, S., Lindshield, S., & Walkup, K. (n.d.). Tool-assisted foraging in primates: a review. In J. E. Lambert & J. Rothman (Eds.), Primate Foraging Strategies.

Selected Awards

  • Award / Honor Recipient: Honorary Professor of International Studies, Texas State University International Studies. October 2018
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Distinguished Primatologist 2018, Midwest Regional Primate Interest Group. October 18, 2018
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Walvoord Professor of Liberal Arts & Sciences (LAS), Iowa State University. 2011 - 2015
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Distinguished Alumni Award, Texas State University. 2012
  • Award / Honor Recipient: College of Liberal Arts Distinguished Alumni Award, Texas State University. 2009

Selected Grants

  • Pruetz, Jill Daphne. College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Small Grant Award for equipment for Galago prey study at Fongoli, Senegal, Iowa State University, $713. (Funded: 2016). Grant.
  • Pruetz, Jill Daphne. College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Small Grant Award for symposium on resource extraction at ISU, Iowa State University, $700. (Funded: 2014). Grant.
  • Pruetz, Jill Daphne. Research Council Grant- Chimpanzees: Nighttime activities, Cave behavior and hunting with tools, National Geographic Society, $60862. (Funded: 2013). Grant.
  • Pruetz, Jill Daphne. College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Small Grant Award, Iowa State University, $700. (Funded: 2013). Grant.
  • Pruetz, Jill Daphne. Engaged Anthropology Grant, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, $5000. (Funded: 2012). Grant.

Selected Service Activities

Board Member
Ape Cognition & Conservation Initiative
Reviewer / Referee
American Journal of Primatology
Reviewer / Referee
American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society, ISU chapter, Executive committee
Promotion & Tenure Committee, Anthropology, Iowa State University