Jane Phillips-Conroy, PhD

Jane Phillips-Conroy, PhD

Professor Emeritus

Research Abstract

Our studies of free-ranging primates are focused on how behavioral, demographic and ecological variables function to influence population structure. My past research focused on field studies of baboons in two geographical areas: a hybrid zone between olive and hamadryas baboons in Ethiopia (Papio hamadryas, s.l.) and a population of yellow baboons in Tanzania in Mikumi National Park. Our research involves capture, tagging and biological sampling of as many individuals as possible. We examine a broad range of biological features, which we consider in their ecological and behavioral contexts. Our research also addresses the more general question of variation, distribution, adaptation and speciation within the genus Papio as a whole. Since 2004 we have shifted the center of our research south to Zambia, whose three baboon species– yellow, grayfooted chacma, and the previously largely unstudied little Kinda baboon, are poorly known. We have located a hybrid zone between grey-footed chacma baboons and yellow baboons along the Luangwa valley, and have found that this hybrid zone also incorporates kinda baboon genes as well, making it the only workable three-way baboon hybrid zone in Africa. Our recent genetic studies in Kafue National Park have shown that hybridization there is asymmetric, effected by small kinda males mating with larger grayfoot females. Studies are underway to explore the behavioral underpinnings of these unexpected findings.

Selected Publications

  • Rogers J, Raveendran M, Harris RA, Mailund T, Leppala K, Athanasiadis G, Schierup MH, Cheng J, Munch K, Walker JA, Konkel MK, Jordan V, Steely CJ, Beckstrom TO, Bergey C, Burrell A, Schrempf D, Noll A, Kothe M, Kopp GH, Liu Y, Murali S, Billis K, Martin FJ, Muffato M, Cox L, Else J, Disotell T, Muzny DM, Phillips-Conroy J, Aken B, Eichler EE, Marques-Bonet T, Kosiol C, Batzer MA, Hahn MW, Tung J, Zinner D, Roos C, Jolly CJ, Gibbs RA, Worley KC, Archidiacono N, Capozzi O, Catacchio CR, Dinh HH, Doddapaneni H, Han Y, Huddleston J, Jhangiani SN, Karimpour-Fard A, Korchina V, Kovar CL, Kuderna L, Lee SL, Liu X, Marra-Campanale A, Mason CE, Montero MD, Pagel KA, Palazzo A, Pecotte J, Pejaver V, Pipes L, Quick VS, Quick S, Radivojac P, Raja A, Raney BJ, Rice K, Rocchi M, Sikela JM, Stanyon R, Thomas GWC, Ventura M, Vilgalys TP, Vinar T, Walker JA, Walter L, Consortium BGA. The comparative genomics and complex population history of Papio baboons. Sci Adv. 2019;5(1).
  • Ziegler TE, Kapoor A, Binkley NC, Rice KS, Rogers J, Jolly CJ, Phillips-Conroy JE. Comparison of vitamin D metabolites in wild and captive baboons. Am J Primatol. 2018;80(12).
  • Tsukayama P, Boolchandani M, Patel S, Pehrsson EC, Gibson MK, Chiou KL, Jolly CJ, Rogers J, Phillips-Conroy JE, Dantas G. Characterization of Wild and Captive Baboon Gut Microbiota and Their Antibiotic Resistomes. Msystems. 2018;3(3).
  • Jordan VE, Walker JA, Beckstrom TO, Steely CJ, McDaniel CL, Romain CPS, Worley KC, Phillips-Conroy J, Jolly CJ, Rogers J, Konkel MK, Batzer MA, Consortium BGA. A computational reconstruction of Papio phylogeny using Alu insertion polymorphisms. Mobile DNA-Uk. 2018;9.
  • Steely CJ, Walker JA, Jordan VE, Beckstrom TO, McDaniel CL, Romain CPS, Bennett EC, Robichaux A, Clement BN, Raveendran M, Worley KC, Phillips-Conroy J, Jolly CJ, Rogers J, Konkel MK, Batzer MA, Consortium BGA. Alu Insertion Polymorphisms as Evidence for Population Structure in Baboons. Genome Biology and Evolution. 2017;9(9):2418-27.
  • Buechler CR, Bailey AL, Weiler AM, Barry GL, Breitbach ME, Stewart LM, Jasinska AJ, Freimer NB, Apetrei C, Phillips-Conroy JE, Jolly CJ, Rogers J, Friedrich TC, O’Connor DH. Seroprevalence of Zika Virus in Wild African Green Monkeys and Baboons. Msphere. 2017;2(2).
  • Weyher, A.J., Phillips-Conroy,J.E., Fourrier, M.S. and Jolly, C.J. 2014 Male-driven grooming bouts in mixed-sex dyads of Kinda baboons (Papio kindae) Folia primatologica. 85:178-191
  • Bernstein, R. M., Drought, H., Phillips-Conroy, J. E., & Jolly, C. J. (2013). Hormonal Correlates of Divergent Growth Trajectories in Wild Male Anubis (Papio anubis) and Hamadryas (P. hamadryas) Baboons in the Awash River Valley, Ethiopia. International Journal of Primatology. 34(4), 732-751
  • Jolly, C.J., Phillips-Conroy J.E., Kaplan, J.R., Mann, J.J. 2013 Monoamine Neurotransmitter Metabolites in the Cerebrospinal Fluid of a Group of Hybrid Baboons (Papio hamadryas x P.anubis). International Journal of Primatology. 34(4):732-751.
  • Phillips-Conroy, J.E. 2011 Behavior meets Neuroscience: Achievements, Prospects, and Complexity. Introduction to Part IV. in R. W. Sussman and C.R. Cloninger (editors) Origins of Altruism and Cooperation (Springer) pp 275-284.
  • Jolly, C. J., Burrell, A. S., Phillips Conroy, J. E., Bergey, C., & Rogers, J. (2011). Kinda baboons (Papio kindae) and grayfoot chacma baboons (P. ursinus griseipes) hybridize in the Kafue river valley, Zambia. American Journal of Primatology. 73(3), 291-303.
  • Bergman TJ, Phillips-Conroy JE, Jolly CJ. Behavioral variation and reproductive success of male baboons (Papio anubis x Papio hamadryas) in a hybrid social group. American Journal of Primatology. 2008 Feb;70(2) 136-147
  • Beehner, J., Phillips-Conroy, J.E. and Whitten, P. (2005) Female testosterone, dominance rank and aggression in an Ethiopian population of hybrid baboons. American Journal of Primatology. Sep;67(1):101-19.
  • Jolly CJ and Phillips-Conroy JE. Testicular size, Developmental Trajectories and Male Life History Strategies in Four Baboon Taxa. In: Swedell L and Leigh S (eds) Life History, Reproductive Strategies, and Fitness in Baboons (Kluwer Press) 2006 pp 257-276.
  • Phillips-Conroy JE, and Jolly CJ. Dispersal and Philopatry in the Awash Baboon Hybrid Zone. In: Jones C, and Schwibbe M (eds) Dispersal and philopatry in primates. Primate Report: Special Issue. 2004 68:27-52.

For a complete list of Dr. Phillips-Conroy’s publications, click here.

Other Information


1969 BA, Anthropology (with honors), Brandeis University, Waltham, MA

1973 MA, Anthropology, New York University, New York, NY

1978 PhD, Anthropology, New York University, New York, NY

Selected Honors

2009 Election into Alpha Omega Alpha

2004 Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science

2003 Fellow, Academy of Science of St. Louis