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Fashing, Peter J.

Professor of Anthropology


Office: 657-278-3977

Department: 657-278-3626



Peter Fashing has conducted conservation and research projects in several sub-Saharan African countries, including Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia. He grew up in Williamsburg, Virginia, and earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and biology at the College of William and Mary and a Ph.D. in anthropology from Columbia University in 1999. For his Ph.D., he lived in a rustic cabin on the edge of the Kakamega Forest in western Kenya for a year and a half studying (a) the ecological determinants of feeding and ranging behavior in eastern black and white colobus monkeys (Colobus guereza) and (b) the strategies adopted by male and female colobus during encounters between groups. After earning his doctorate, he completed a one-year postdoctoral fellowship with the Wildlife Conservation Society. While there, he conducted a study of the costs and benefits of group life for another colobus monkey species (Angolan colobus or Colobus angolensis) that forms unusually large groups of over 300 members in Rwanda's Nyungwe Forest — one of the largest remaining montane rainforests in Africa. Afterward, he taught at Columbia University, Queens College and Seton Hall University before becoming a research scientist with the Pittsburgh Zoo in 2002. During his six years there, he expanded his research program at Kakamega, Kenya, and, in 2005, established a new research site at Guassa, Ethiopia, where with Dr. Nga Nguyen, he co-directed the Guassa Gelada Research Project, a longitudinal study of the behavioral ecology and conservation biology of the wild gelada monkeys (Theropithecus gelada) at Guassa, Ethiopia. The research project at Guassa has been in continuous (year-round) operation for more than 10 years and has enhanced scientific knowledge of geladas.

Areas of Knowledge:
  • Wildlife biology
  • Conservation bioogy
  • Behavioral ecology
  • Africa
  • Ethiopia

  • Anthropology
  • Biological Science
  • Environment
  • Evolution
  • Globalization

  • Africa