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Department ofAnthropology

Michelle Bezanson

Michelle Bezanson


Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Michelle Bezanson is a biological anthropologist with research interests in evolutionary anthropology, primate behavior, and tropical forest ecology. Her field research has focused on infant, juvenile, and adult positional Behavior (posture and locomotion), tail use, and the behavioral, arboreal, and resource-based contexts of locomotor patterns in primates. She also publishes on ethics, primate conservation and the sustainability of anthropological field research and teaching in fragile ecosystems.

Twitter: @bezanswer


  • Anthropology 1: Introduction to Biological Anthropology
  • Anthropology 5: Popular Culture and Biological Anthropology
  • Anthropology 11a: Measuring Humanity
  • Anthropology 130: Primate Behavioral Ecology
  • Anthropology 197: Human Evolution Summer Field School in Primate Behavior and Ecology

Selected Publications:

  • Bezanson M, *McNamara AJ. (2019) The what and where of primate field research might be failing primate conservation. Evolutionary Anthropology. 28:166-177.

  • Riley EP, Bezanson M. 2018. Ethics of primate fieldwork. Annual Reviews of Anthropology. Volume 47:493-512.

  • Bezanson M. 2017. Primate locomotor development and evolution. Annual Reviews of Anthropology. Volume 46: 279-298.

  • Zhu. W, Garber, PA, Bezanson M, Qi, XG, Li BG 2015. Age and sex-based patterns of positional behavior in the Golden Snub-Nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana). American Journal of Primatology. 77:98-108.

  • Bezanson M, Stowe R, Watts SM. 2013. Reducing the ecological impact of field research. American Journal of Primatology. 75: 1-9.

  • Bezanson M, Morbeck, M.E. 2013. Future adults or old children? Integrating life history frameworks for understanding primate locomotor patterns. In: Clancy K, Hinde K, and Rutherford J. (eds.) Building babies: primate development in proximate and ultimate perspective. Springer Book Series: Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects. Pp. 435-458.

  • Bezanson M. 2012. The ontogeny of prehensile-tail use in Cebus capucinus and Alouatta palliata. American Journal of Primatology. 74:770-782.

  • Bezanson M, Watts SM, Jobin MA. 2012. Tree truthing: How accurate are substrate estimates in primate field studies? American Journal of Physical Anthropology 147:671-677.


November 15, 2021

In a discussion about why humans don't have tails, Michelle Bezanson weighs in on the pros and cons of tails themselves.

February 25, 2020

Michelle Bezanson was a signatory to an open letter from over 70 scholars, published by Inside Higher Edcalling for the reform of student debt strategies.

August 14, 2019

Michelle Bezanson was quoted in ScienceBlogUT Newsand a dozen other outlets about her work exploring how researchers leave out a portion of primate species in their studies, putting lesser-known species at risk.