Jesse Leinwand, M.A.

Department

Conservation & Science

Center

Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes

Title

Research Assistant

Education

M.A. – Psychology, Georgia State University
B.A. – Psychology, University of Vermont

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Areas of Expertise

  • Primate behavior and cognition
  • Western lowland gorilla conservation
  • Social and cognitive sciences

About

As an undergraduate, Jesse spent two summers working on a comparative learning and memory study with young children and orangutans at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. After graduating, Jesse briefly worked with rats in a neuroscience lab before spending a year as a great ape behavioral monitoring intern at Lincoln Park Zoo.

In 2012, Jesse took a yearlong research assistant position at the Mbeli Bai forest clearing in Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in the Republic of Congo. There, he studied the behavior of wild western lowland gorillas and their use of the bai, as well as species like forest elephants, forest buffalo, and sitatungas. Jesse also acted as interim site manager for five months, overseeing all data collection and input, Congolese research assistants, camp staff, and tourist visits.

In 2018, Jesse received his masters under the supervision of Sarah Brosnan, Ph.D., at Georgia State University. His thesis focused on how capuchin monkeys experience change blindness, though he also worked on risk preference, inequity, and behavioral observation studies.

Jesse returned to Lincoln Park Zoo in 2019. Working with Lydia Hopper, Ph.D., he runs daily touchscreen sessions with the chimpanzees and gorillas, as well as assisting with other cognitive and behavioral research projects.

Publications

  • Ross, S. R., & Leinwand, J. G. 2020. A review of research in primate sanctuaries. Biology Letters, 16(4), 20200033. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2020.0033.