Kristin Bonnie, Ph.D.

Department

Conservation & Science

Center

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

Title

Adjunct Scientist

Education

Ph.D. – Emory University
M.A. – Emory University
B.S. – St. Lawrence University

Headshot

About

Kristin has long been interested in animal behavior, and as a young child growing up in the Chicago area, she often visited Lincoln Park Zoo. While an undergraduate at St. Lawrence University, she completed a semester in Kenya, during which she spent several weeks tracking and observing a troop of olive baboons. The next summer, she was hired by Lincoln Park Zoo as a research fellow to document the behaviors of cotton-top tamarins both before and after several basilisk lizards were introduced to their exhibit.

Kristin completed her graduate degrees at Emory University, where she worked with Frans de Waal. Her research as a graduate student centered on investigations of social learning and culture in captive brown capuchin monkeys and chimpanzees.

In 2007, Kristin returned to the Midwest as a professor of psychology at Beloit College in Wisconsin. That same year, she joined the zoo as an adjunct scientist with the Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes. In collaboration with zoo research staff, she continues with research she began as a graduate student, studying the cognition and behavior of chimpanzees and gorillas.

Publications

  • Bonnie, K. E., Bernstein-Kurtycz, L. M., Shender, M. A., Ross, S. R., & Hopper, L. M. 2019. Foraging in a social setting: a comparative analysis of captive gorillas and chimpanzees. Primates, 60(2), 125–131. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10329-018-00712-x.
  • Cronin, K. A., Jacobson, S. L., Bonnie, K. E., & Hopper, L. M. 2017. Studying primate cognition in a social setting to improve validity and welfare: a literature review highlighting successful approaches. PeerJ, 5, e3649.
  • Hopper, L.M., Kurtycz, L.M., Ross, S.R., & Bonnie, K.E. 2015. Captive chimpanzee foraging in a social setting: a test of problem solving, flexibility, and spatial discounting. PeerJ 3, e833.
  • Finestone, E., Bonnie, K.E., Hopper, L.M., Vreeman, V.M., Lonsdorf, E.V., & Ross, S.R. 2014. The interplay between individual, social, and environmental influences on chimpanzee food choices. Behavioural Processes. 105, 71-78.
  • Calcutt S.E., Lonsdorf E.V., Bonnie K.E., Milstein M.S., and Ross S.R. 2014. Captive chimpanzees share diminishing resources. Behaviour, 151(14):1697-1982.
  • Hopper, L.M., Bonnie, K.E., Kurtycz, L.M., & Ross, S.R. 2013. Testing for chimpanzee innovation and social learning in a zoo setting. American Journal of Primatology. 75(S1), 56.
  • L. M. Hopper, K. E. Bonnie, L. M. Kurtycz, S. R. Ross 2013. Testing for chimpanzee innovation and social learning in a zoo setting. American Journal of Primatology. 75(S1), 56.