Susan Alberts

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Susan C. Alberts is an American primatologist, anthropologist, and biologist who is the current Chair of the Department of Anthropology at Duke University;[1] previously, she served as a Bass fellow and the Robert F. Durden Professor of Biology at Duke.[2] She currently co-directs the Amboseli Baboon Research Project with Jeanne Altmann of Princeton University.[2] Her research broadly studies how animal behavior evolved in mammals, with a specific focus on the social behavior, demography, and genetics of the yellow baboon, although some of her work has included the African elephant.[2] She was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014, won the Cozzarelli Prize of the National Academy of Sciences in 2017, and was elected a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences in 2019.[1][3]


Alberts received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Reed College in 1983, and went on to earn a Master of Arts in Biology from University of California, Los Angeles in 1987.[1][4] She earned her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution at University of Chicago in 1992 for her work with her advisor, Jeanne Altmann.[1][4] Her dissertation examined the maturation and dispersal of male baboons.[5]


Alberts' research focuses on the interplay between environment, genetics, and behavior.[2] She has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles in the fields of anthropology, genetics, endocrinology, biology, and primatology.[6] Early in her career, her research focused largely on the behavior of male baboons through dispersal, mate guarding, social rank within the group,[6] while later in her research career, she expanded her inquiry to include life history, epigenetics, endocrinology, and mating systems of both sexes.[6] Notably, her work has found links between longevity and social relationships within baboon groups, with cohesive group-living having benefits for surviving environmental stresses.[7]

Alberts has also served as an editor for numerous peer-reviewed journals in a variety of fields, including Behavioral Ecology (journal), the American Journal of Primatology, and PeerJ.[1] In addition, she serves as a referee for a variety of journals and grant-funding organizations, including the Society for the Study of Evolution, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, PNAS, Behaviour, and the National Science Foundation.[1]


  • Cozzarelli Prize. National Academy of Sciences, USA. 2016.
  • Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring. Duke University. 2012.
  • Thomas Langford Lectureship, Duke University. Duke University. 2010.
  • Distinguished Teaching and Service Award. Department of Biology, Duke University. December 2009.
  • Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program. National Science Foundation. 2001.

Elected Fellowships[1][edit]


  • Alberts, Susan C.; Altmann, Jeanne (1995). "Balancing costs and opportunities: dispersal in male baboons". American Naturalist. 145 (2): 279–306. doi:10.1086/285740.
  • Altmann, Jeanne; Alberts, Susan C.; Haines, Susan A.; Dubach, Jean; Muruthi, Philip; Coote, Trevor; Geffern, Eli; et al. (1996). "Behaviour predicts genes structure in a wild primate group". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 93 (12): 5797–5801. doi:10.1073/pnas.93.12.5797. PMC 39141.
  • Silk, Joan B.; Alberts, Susan C. (2003). "Social bonds of female baboons enhance infant survival". Science. 302 (5648): 1231–1234. doi:10.1126/science.1088580. PMID 14615543.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Susan Alberts - CV" (PDF). Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  2. ^ a b c d ENR // AgencyND // University of Notre Dame. "Amboseli Baboon Research Project". Retrieved 30 January 2015.
  3. ^ "2019 NAS Election". Retrieved 2019-05-01.
  4. ^ a b "Susan C. Alberts | Biology". Duke University Biology Department. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  5. ^ "Holdings: Maturation and Dispersal of Male Baboons (Papio cynocephalus)". UChicago Library. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c Biology, Susan AlbertsDuke University | DU · Departments of; PhD, Evolutionary Anthropology 42 52 ·; Chicago, University of. "Susan Alberts | PhD, University of Chicago | Duke University, North Carolina | DU | Departments of Biology and Evolutionary Anthropology". ResearchGate. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  7. ^ "Social influences on survival and reproduction: Insights from a long-term study of wild baboons. | Scholars@Duke". Retrieved 2018-10-17.
  8. ^ "2019 NAS Election". Retrieved 2019-04-30.