Conservation & Science Staff Bios
Welfare Monitoring Postdoctoral Fellow
- Ph.D. – Evolutionary Biology, University of Chicago
- B.S. – Zoology, Michigan State University
Areas of Expertise
- Animal behavior
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.