Dr. Rebecca Stumpf

Dr. Stumpf is the co-director of the Laboratory of Evolutionary Endocrinology and Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois. She is a primatologist who specializes in female reproductive strategies of the great apes.

Dr. Stumpf's Department of Anthropology Profile

Google Scholar page

Dr. Kathryn Clancy

Dr. Clancy is the co-director of the Laboratory for Evolutionary Endocrinology and Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois. She is a human reproductive ecologist who specializes in women's health, endometrial function and evolutionary medicine.

Dr. Clancy's Department of Anthropology Profile

Dr. Clancy's blog and website

Google Scholar page

Trainees and staff

Postdoctoral associates

Michelle Rodrigues, PhD. I am a biological anthropologist/primatologist interested in the evolution of female social relationships and endocrinology in comparative perspective. I received my PhD from The Ohio State University, where I studied female spider monkeys to test the “tend and befriend” hypothesis, which posits that female friendship in humans evolved as a primate-wide coping mechanism to mediate stress. I followed this research with a project examining female affiliative behavior and comparative social relationships in chimpanzees and bonobos. My postdoctoral research will examine how female friendships and support networks mediate stressors experienced by adolescent girls and female scientists.

                                         Dr. Rodrigues's Website

                                         Dr. Rodrigues's Blog

                                         Google Scholar.

Graduate students

Talia Melber, PhD candidate. I am interested in sexual selection, mate choice, the relationship between hormones and behavior, and cognitive processes. My previous research has included investigating patterns of tool-use acquisition in great apes and studying potential behavioral cues used by female callitrichines to assess male mate quality. In the future I plan to utilize hormonal analyses to provide insight into various aspects of behavior and reproduction in primates.

Mary Rogers, PhD candidate. I am interested in relationships between childhood environment, epigenetic mechanisms, and reproductive traits. I am particularly interested in age at first menses, or menarche. Menarche is a critical public health and life history marker as this age correlates with breast cancer risk, endometriosis, and cardiovascular disease, as well as length of adolescent sub-fecund period and adult reproductive hormone concentrations. Epigenetics, the study of covalent modifications of DNA, is one way by which the environment interacts with the genome by altering gene expression without changing the primary DNA sequence. Gene methylation, one epigenetic process, changes in response to early life variables, including those identified as modifiers of menarcheal timing. I research methylation at candidate genes as a potential mechanism linking childhood environment and age at menarche. I aim to investigate how early environments affect age at menarche, and in turn, how both variables affect adult hormone concentrations.  Google Scholar

Katie Lee, PhD candidate. I am interested in bone health in women of reproductive age. I focus on how physical activity and estrogen interact to affect bone in healthy adult women. I measure both bone density (which changes slowly) and biological markers of bone turnover.  Bone is broken down and rebuilt all the time in order to keep it healthy, and the bone turnover markers allow me to see how much building and dissolving is happening at the present time in women. Overall, my goal is to understand how normal women maintain their bones during their entire life. Google Scholar

Merri Wilson, PhD student. I am a biological anthropologist interested in how life experiences affect the health of gender minorities in America, specifically how life experiences (both positive and negative) impact biomarkers related to health outcomes, such as sex steroid hormones and inflammation. My past research includes studying the effects of acculturation on mental health outcomes and the effects of maternal stress on offspring hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis function.

Rodolfo Martinez-Mota, PhD candidate. Picture and bio coming soon. Google Scholar

Summer Sanford, PhD candidate. Picture and bio coming soon.


Kristina Allen
Velimira Asenova
Hayley Ban
Priya Bhatt
Sara Gay
Fatima Godfrey
Denise Herrera
Ansley Jones
Hildegard Luijten
Ohm Shukla

Lab alums

Krista Milich, PhD. I am studying the impact of habitat degradation on female red colobus monkey reproductive function in Kibale National Park, Uganda. I am interested in examining how anthropogenic changes to forests influence female reproductive physiologies, behaviors, and hormone concentrations. This project combines my main interests: primates, reproduction, endocrinology, and conservation. I love doing field work in Uganda and hope to continue working in Africa for many more years.

Zarin Sultana.

Rachel Mitchell.

Rachel Ogden.

Dana Ahern. Anthropology and Gender & Women's Studies BA 2013.

Sophia Bodnar. Anthropology BA 2013. Medical school.

Antoine DeJong. Psychology BA 2013. PhD student.

Raia Hamad. Anthropology BA 2016. PhD student, Bioengineering, Illinois Institute of Technology.

Paige Jamieson, Anthropology BA 2015.

Laura Klein. Integrative Biology Honors, Chemistry Minor BA 2011PhD student, Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard.

Megan Ladd. Anthropology and Integrative Biology BA 2016.

Emily Marzolph. Anthropology BA 2012.

Catherine Mesyef. Anthropology BA 2014.

Katherine Tribble. Molecular and Cellular Biology Honors 2012. Medical student, Loyola.

Ashley Voigt. Chemistry 2012. Pharmacy School.