Faculty & Staff Directory

Cynthia Thompson

Photo of Cynthia Thompson


Assistant Professor

220 Padnos Hall



Office Hours

See available times here, or by appointment.

Courses Taught

BMS 208 - Human Anatomy
BMS 461 - Prosected Regional Human Anatomy


Post-doctoral fellow, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Anatomy & Neurobiology
Ph.D. - Kent State University, Biological Anthropology
M.A. Kent State University, Anthropology
B.A. University of California, Davis, Evolutionary Anthropology

Research Interests

My research aims to understand the social, ecological, and physiological factors driving primate behavior. I integrate observational field-based methods, controlled captive experiments, and laboratory approaches to holistically investigate both the proximate and evolutionary explanations for primate behavior. I am currently pursuing several projects relating to this research theme.

Firstly, I am interested in how the spatial and temporal distribution of food influences the competitive regimes in which primates live. To test these questions, I am currently working with wild marmoset monkeys in Brazil which exploit both renewable and depletable food resources. I am also interested in this species' use of olfaction to communicate information about food resources.

A second branch of my research investigates how primates use behavior and physiology to respond to their thermal environment. This research is being conducted on wild howling monkeys in Costa Rica.

I have also done extensive work into the social behavior of white-faced saki monkeys. This species displays variation in social system, with some groups being pair living and monogamous, while others have multiple adults and practice polygamy. I am broadly interested in the ecological, demographic, and physiological factors that drive this variation in social system.

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