College of Liberal and Fine Arts

Fernando Campos, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department of Anthropology

Research area: Biological Anthropology

Research in Progress

My research on nonhuman primates addresses evolutionary questions about how organisms respond to changing environments, and how differences between individuals in these responses are linked to important life outcomes, including health, survival, and reproduction. This work aims not only to uncover important biological processes but ultimately to inform conservation planning. Primates are in the midst of a global extinction crisis that is driven by anthropogenic pressures. For conservation to be successful, it must be informed by research on how individuals, groups, and populations are affected by different forms of environmental variability and change. My work employs a biodemographic perspective that investigates factors that determine mortality and fertility, draws links among these factors to health outcomes and life trajectories, and makes comparisons among these processes in humans to those in other organisms.

Most of my research has been carried out with natural primate populations, mainly white-faced capuchins in the Área de Conservación Guanacaste in northwestern Costa Rica, where I maintain an active, field-based research program. Some of my current and ongoing research projects involve savannah baboons in the Amboseli ecosystem of East Africa, and I also do comparative, cross-species research by leveraging a database of primate life history data from several long-term field research sites.

Find out more about my research here:


Ph.D., University of Calgary, 2014


I am strongly committed to student education and mentorship. I have experience teaching not only in Biological Anthropology but also in Environmental Studies, which, like Anthropology, is field that embraces an interdisciplinary, holistic approach to understanding humanity’s place in the natural world. My foremost goals as an educator are to challenge and inspire students, and to prepare them for rewarding careers.

Prospective students: I am accepting MA and PhD students. I especially encourage applicants who are interested in carrying out research on wild nonhuman primates at the nexus of behavioral ecology, health, and the environment. Current topics of interest include: effects of climate variability on survival and reproduction; variation in early-life experience and its consequences; aging and biomarkers of health in the wild; climate change contingencies in primate conservation; responses to seasonal and inter-annual environmental stressors; and health and fitness consequences of the quality and quantity of social bonds.

Current Ph.D. Students: Kaylie McNeil, Jenna Owens

Representative Publications

Full list of publications:

2020 – Campos FA*, Villavicencio F*, Archie EA, Colchero F, Alberts SC. Social Bonds, Social Status and Survival in Wild Baboons: A Tale of Two Sexes. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

2020 – Rosenbaum S, Zeng S, Campos FA, Gesquiere LR, Altmann J, Alberts SC, Li F, & Archie EA. (2020). Social bonds do not mediate the relationship between early adversity and adult glucocorticoids in wild baboons. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

2020 – Snyder-Mackler N, Burger JR, Gaydosh L, Belsky DW, Noppert GA, Campos FA, Bartolomucci A, Yang YC, Aiello AE, O’Rand A, Harris KM, Shively CA, Alberts SC, & Tung J. Social determinants of health and survival in humans and other animals. Science.

2020 – Campos FA, Kalbitzer U, Melin AD, Hogan JD, Cheves SE, Murillo-Chacon E, Guadamuz A, Myers MS, Schaffner CM, Jack KM, Aureli F, Fedigan LM. Differential impact of severe drought on infant mortaliy in two sympatric Neotropical primates. Royal Society Open Science.

2018 –  Campos FA. A Synthesis of Long-Term Environmental Change in Santa Rosa, Costa Rica. Primate Life Histories, Sex Roles, and Adaptability: Essays in Honour of Linda M. Fedigan.

2017 – Campos, FA, Morris, WF, Alberts, SC, Altmann, J, Brockman, DK, Cords, M, Pusey, A, Stoinski, TS, Strier, KB, Fedigan, LM. Does climate variability influence the demography of wild primates? Evidence from long-term life-history data in seven species. Global Change Biology, 23 (11).

2017 – Kalbitzer U, Bergstrom ML, Carnegie SD, Wikberg EC, Kawamura S, Campos FA, Jack KM, and Fedigan LM. Female sociality and sexual conflict shape offspring survival in a Neotropical primate. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(8), 1892–1897.

2015 – Campos FA, Jack KM, and Fedigan LM. Climate oscillations and conservation measures regulate white-faced population growth and demography in a regenerating tropical dry forest in Costa Rica. Biological Conservation 186: 204–213.

2014 – Campos FA, Bergstrom ML, Childers A, Hogan JD, Jack KM, Melin AD, Mosdossy KN, Myers MS, Parr NA, Sargeant E, Schoof VAM, and Fedigan LM (2014). Drivers of home range characteristics across spatiotemporal scales in a neotropical primate, Cebus capucinus. Animal Behaviour 91: 93–109.

2014 – Campos FA and Fedigan LM. Spatial ecology of perceived predation risk and vigilance behavior in white-faced capuchins. Behavioral Ecology 25(3): 477– 486.

2013 – Campos FA and Jack KM. A potential distribution model and conservation plan for the critically endangered Ecuadorian capuchin, Cebus albifrons aequatorialis. International Journal of Primatology 34(5): 899-916.

2009 – Campos FA and Fedigan LM. Behavioral adaptations to heat stress and water scarcity in white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus) in Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 138 (1): 101-111.


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