Karin Enstam Jaffe


Karin Jaffe
Stevenson 2054A
Office Hours
10:45 a.m.-11:45 a.m.
11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.

Ph.D., University of California, Davis 2002

Academic Interests

I am a biological anthropologist with research interests in primate behavioral ecology, including polyspecific associations, evolution of primate social systems, and anti-predator behavior. My previous research has focused on sub-specific sociality differences in captive orangutans at the San Diego Zoo, the social behavior of mona monkeys on the island of Grenada, and anti-predator behavior and habitat use of vervet and patas monkeys in Kenya. My current research focuses on Applied Primate Ethology, the application of scientific methods of studying primate behavior to real world problems. The Sonoma State University Primate Ethology Research lab helps match advanced undergraduate and graduate students with projects that local zoos are interested in conducting so that they can better understand the animals they care for. For more information about my lab, please visit the SSUPER website.


Biological Anthropology, primate behavioral ecology, primate anti-predator behavior, vervet (Cercopithecus aethiops) and patas (Erythrocebus patas) monkeys, human evolution and human behavioral ecology


I received my B.A. degree in Anthropology (concentration in Biological Anthropology) from the University of California, San Diego in 1994. I received my M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Anthropology from the University of California, Davis in 1997 and 2002, respectively. I have been a faculty member in the Department of Anthropology at Sonoma State University since August, 2002.

Selected Publications & Presentations

Isbell, L.A. and Jaffe, K.E. (2013) Chlrocebus pygerythrus: Vervet Monkey. In: Mammals of Africa, Volume 2: Primates (T.M. Butynski, J. Kingdon, and J. Kalina, eds.). Bloomsbury Press, New York. pp. 277-283.

Jaffe, K.E. and Isbell, L.A. (2011) The guenons: Socioecology of polyspecific associations. In: Primates in Perspective, 2nd edition (C.J. Campbell, A. Fuentes, K.C. MacKinnon, S.K. Bearder, and R.M. Stumpf, eds.). Oxford University Press, New York. pp. 277-300.

Jaffe, K.E. and Isbell, L.A. (2010) Changes in ranging and agonistic behavior of vervet monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops) after predator-induced group fusion. American Journal of Primatology. 72: 634-644.

Isbell, L.A., Young, T.P., Jaffe, K.E., Carlson, A.A., and Chancellor, R.L. (2009) Demography and life histories of sympatric patas monkeys, Erythrocebus patas, and vervets, Cercopithecus aethiops, in Laikipia, Kenya. International Journal of Primatology. 30: 103-124.

Jaffe, K.E. and Isbell, L.A. (2009) After the fire: Benefits of reduced ground cover for vervet monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops). American Journal of Primatology. 71: 252-260.

Parker, S.T. and Jaffe, K.E (2008) Darwin’s Legacy: Scenarios in Human Evolution. AltaMira Press. New York.

Enstam, K.L. (2007) Effects of habitat structure on perceived risk of predation and anti-predator behavior in vervet (Cercopithecus aethiops) and patas (Erythrocebus patas) monkeys. In: Primate Anti-Predator Strategies. (S. Gursky and K.A.I. Nekaris, eds.). Springer, New York. pp. 308-338.