Dr. Karen Strier is the Vilas Research Professor and Irven Devore Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Karen is a Primate behavioral ecologist. She is working to understand the biological basis of human behavior, evolution, and adaptation by studying our closest living relatives. Research in Karen’s group involves observing a critically endangered primate, the northern muriqui, in its natural habitat to understand how their behaviors are similar to or different from human behaviors. When she’s not in the lab or observing primates in the wild, Karen enjoys being outside, going for walks in nature, cooking delicious multi-course meals for her friends and family, reading, and spending time with her cats. Karen received her B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology and Biology from Swarthmore College, and she was awarded her M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from Harvard University. After completing her Ph.D., Karen served as a lecturer at Harvard University and subsequently became a faculty member at Beloit College. She joined the faculty at UW-Madison in 1989. Karen has received numerous honors and awards throughout her career, including being elected as a Fellow of the American Anthropological Association, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In addition, she is an Honorary Member of the Latin American Society of Primatologists and the Brazilian Society of Primatologists, and she has received an Honorary Doctoral Degree from the University of Chicago. Karen has been the recipient of the Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation, the H.I. Romnes Faculty Fellowship, Kellett Mid-Career Faculty Researcher Award, and WARF Professorship from UW-Madison, the Hilldale Award for Excellence in Teaching, Research & Public Service from UW-Madison, and the Distinguished Primatologist Awards from the American Society of Primatologists and the Midwest Primate Interest Group. She is currently the President of the International Primatological Society. In our interview Karen shares more about her life and science.
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