Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Altmann, Jeanne

US primatologist. J. Altmann was trained in mathematics as an undergraduate; her Ph.D. (Chicago, 1979) reflected a strong interest in research design and female social organization. J. Altmann began a long field collaboration with her husband S. A. Altmann that has included field studies of baboons at what is now Amboseli National Park in Kenya. Author of ‘Observational study of behavior: Sampling methods’ (Behaviour, 49: 227, 1974); this paper is one of the most cited papers in primatology, and was instrumental in causing primatologists to rethink field research methods. J. Altmann is known for a focus on primate demography and nonexperimental research design. She was among the first to suggest that females should be a focus of research and that primatologists had underestimated the genetic contribution of females to future generations.

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