University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Department of Anthropology

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Rebecca M. Stumpf Phd

Professor of Center for African Studies

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Research Interests

Reproductive strategies

Sexual selection

Social and sexual development

Primate behavioral endocrinology

Microbe-host interactions

Evolution of mating systems

Evolutionary mechanisms

Primate evolution



  • 2004 State University of New York at Stony Brook, NY Doctor of Philosophy, Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences
  • 1998 State University of New York at Stony Brook, NY Masters Degree, Anthropological Sciences
  • 1990 Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH. Bachelors Degree

Distinctions / Awards

  • 2005 Arnold O. Beckman Research Award
  • 2008-2009 Center for Advanced Study Fellowship
  • 2010-2011 Irwin C. Gunsalus Scholar
  • 2011 Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, Department of Anthropology
  • 2004 Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching
  • 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 Teachers Ranked as Excellent by their Students, Center for Teaching Excellence, University of Illinois
  • 2004 President's Award for Outstanding Dissertation, SUNY - Stony Brook


  • 2009-2011 Leakey Foundation. “Social and Sexual Development in Adolescent Chimpanzees of Kanyawara.” PI
  • 2009-2013 National Science Foundation Human Origins Moving in New Directions (HOMINID). “Microbes, diet, and hominin evolution: comparative and metagenomic approaches.” PI: S Leigh; Co-PIs: RM Stumpf, B White, K Nelson, A Salyers
  • 2008-2011 Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. "Female Social and Sexual Development in Wild Chimpanzees." PI
  • 2010-2011 US Fish and Wildlife Department. “Close-contact pathogens, sexually transmitted diseases, and African ape conservation.” PIs: J Rushmore, S Altizer, and RM Stumpf
  • 2008-2010 National Science Foundation. "Comparative Primate Microbial Ecology." PI: RM Stumpf, Co-PIs: A Salyers, S Leigh, B Wilson
  • 2008-2011 National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant. “The Effects of Deforestation on Reproductive Fitness in Female Red Colobus (Piliocolobus tephrosceles) in Kibale National Park, Uganda.” K Milich, RM Stumpf
  • 2008-2009 University of Illinois, Inclusive Illinois. “Study of classroom climate in relation to issues of diversity.” J Keller, RM Stumpf and B Farnell
  • 2006-2007 Critical Research Initiatives Grant. "Evolutionary Medicine and Women’s Sexual Health." Co-PI
  • 1998-2001 National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant. "Reproductive Strategies of Female West African Chimpanzees."
  • 2008-2009 Center for Advanced Study Fellowship
  • 2014-2017 NSF BCS Female Sociality, Dispersal, and Comparative Microbial Community Composition in wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). (PI) K. Langergraber (co-PI)



  • Primates in Perspective, 2nd Edition. Ed. Christina J. Campbell, Agustin Fuentes, Katherine C. MacKinnon, Simon K. Bearder, and Rebecca M. Stumpf. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Book Contributions

Journal Articles


Works in Progress

  • Diet drives specific taxa, while phylogeny acts more broadly in vervets fed a western diet (submitted). CJ. Yeoman, G Cerda, AJ Jasinska, J Danzy Cramer, ME Berg Miller, A Gomez, M Torralba, M Gillis, T Turner, BA Wilson, RM Stumpf, KE Nelson, SR Leigh, BA White