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Dr. Laura Lewis

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I am fascinated by the evolution of great ape social cognition. My research explores how humans and our closest living phylogenetic relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos, have evolved to recognize, remember, and represent one another. I use non-invasive eye-tracking technology and other methods with chimps and bonobos living in zoos and sanctuaries around the world to explore how they attend to familiar and unfamiliar conspecifics, whether they remember previous groupmates, and the extent to which they can comprehend spoken language and emotional expressions. I graduated from Duke University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science, and received my PhD from Harvard University in the department of Human Evolutionary Biology in April 2022. I was awarded the UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship to pursue postdoctoral research here at UC Berkeley. Besides hanging out with great apes, I love traveling to new countries, swimming in the ocean, making pottery, and hiking in the Berkeley hills

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