Conservation & Science Staff Bios

Matthew Heintz

  Welfare Monitoring Postdoctoral Fellow
Animal Care


  • Ph.D. – Evolutionary Biology, University of Chicago
  • B.S. – Zoology, Michigan State University

Areas of Expertise

  • Animal behavior
  • Endocrinology
  • Welfare

About Matthew Heintz:

Matthew received his B.S. in zoology from Michigan State University in 2004. Afterward, he worked for three years with Lisa Parr, Ph.D., at Yerkes National Primate Research Center, studying social and emotional cognition in chimpanzees and rhesus macaques.

He received his Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Chicago, working with Elizabeth Lonsdorf, Ph.D. His dissertation focused on the immediate and long-term benefits of play behavior in chimpanzees in Gombe National Park, Tanzania. His research demonstrated that social play is related to social and motor development in wild infant chimpanzees.

Matthew is currently Lincoln Park Zoo’s first welfare monitoring postdoctoral fellow, working with both Megan Ross, Ph.D., and Rachel Santymire, Ph.D. One of his primary tasks is to monitor the behavior of zoo animals, comparing it with measures of stress and health as an indicator of welfare. Matthew is helping to develop appropriate protocols for observations to provide useful data for animal management.


Markham, A.C., R.M. Santymire, E.V. Lonsdorf, M.R. Heintz, I. Lipende, and C.M. Murray.  2014. Rank Effects on Social Stress in Lactating Chimpanzees. Animal Behaviour 87:195-202.

Lonsdorf, E.V., Markham, A.C., Heintz, M.R., Anderson, K.E., Ciuk, D.J., Goodall, J., Murray, C.M. 2014. Sex Differences in Wild Chimpanzee Behavior Emerge during Infancy. PLoS ONE 9(6): e99099. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0099099.

Murray, C.M., Heintz, M.R., Lonsdorf, E.V., Parr, L.A. and Santymire, R.M. 2013. Validation of a field technique and characterization of fecal glucocorticoid metabolite analysis in wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). American Journal of Primatology 75(1):57-64.

Santymire, R.,  E.W. Freeman, E. Lonsdorf, M. Heintz, and D. Armstrong. 2012. Assessment of adrenocortical activity after ACTH challenge in diverse African wildlife species. International Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances 4(2): 99-108.

Heintz, M.R., Santymire, R.M., Parr, L.A., Lonsdorf, E.V. 2011. Validation of cortisol enzyme immunoassay and characterization of salivary cortisol circadian rhythm in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). American Journal of Primatology, 73: 1-6.

Parr, L.A, Heintz, M., Lonsdorf, E.V., Wroblewski, E. 2010. Visual kin recognition in nonhuman primates: inbreeding avoidance or male distinctiveness. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 4: 343-350.