Skip to content

College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences

Faculty and Staff Profile

Lisa Rapaport





Educational Background

Ph.D. Evolutionary Anthropology
University of New Mexico 1997

MA Evolutionary Anthropology
University of New Mexico 1990

BS Biology
University of Oregon 1978

Courses Taught

Introduction to Anthropology, Anth 2010
Biological Anthropology, Anth-Biol 3510
Evolution of Human Behavior, Anth-Biol 4660/6660
Primatology, Anth-Biol 4740/4741


I am a behavioral ecologist with an emphasis in primatology. My research has been conducted on subjects in the field, in zoos and in primate research centers. I also have a strong interest in human behavioral ecology, particularly with regard to cultural transmission and in how the problem of large-scale cooperation was solved in human societies that as they transitioned from hunting-and-gathering or small-scale horticultural economies to early monetary, stratified systems.

Research Interests

My research interests fall within the broad categories of behavioral ecology and conservation biology. Much of my research focuses on social relationships, cooperative rearing of young, and cognitive evolution of South American marmoset and tamarin monkeys. For instance, I have been studying the interplay between independent and social learning in wild golden lion tamarins. My lab has recently begun to investigate the topic of personality types in marmosets and tamarins, with the goal of understanding how consistent individual differences in sociability and boldness may impact health, reproduction and cooperative behaviors. I am deeply involved in conservation efforts for nonhuman primates and serve on the conservation committee of the International Primatological Society.

Research Publications

Rapaport, L.G. & Brown, T. (in prep.) Personality: consistency and variability in the social behavior of wild adult golden lion tamarins.
Rapaport, L.G. (in press) Social contributions to foraging behavior of wild golden lion tamarins: Age-related changes and partner preferences. American Journal of Primatology
Frye, B.F., Rapaport, L.G., Melber, T., Sears, M.W. & Tardif, S.D. (2019). Sibling sex, but not androgens, shapes phenotypes in perinatal common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus). Scientific Reports, 9, 1100. Doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-37723-z
Rapaport, L.G., Paul, C., & Gerard, P. (2016). Hwæt!: Adaptive benefits to public displays of generosity and bravery in Beowulf. Behaviour, 153, 1331-1364. Special issue: Obstacles and Catalysts of Peaceful Behaviour. doi:10.1163/1568539X-00003348
French, J.A., Frye, B., Cavanaugh, J., Ren, D., Mustoe, A.C., Rapaport, L., Mickelberg, J. (2016). Gene changes may minimize masculinizing and defeminizing influences of exposure to male cotwins in female callitrichine primates. Biology of Sex Differences, 7, 28. doi:10.1186/s13293-016-0081-y
Rapaport, L.G. (2015). Is tolerance really teaching? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 38, e57 (2 pages). Doi: 10.1017/S0140525X14000703
Rapaport, L.G., Kloc, B., Warneke, M., Mickelberg, J. & Ballou, J. (2013). Do mothers prefer helpers? Birth sex-ratio adjustment in captive callitrichines. Animal Behaviour, 85(6), 1295-1303 doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2013.03.018
Rapaport, L.G. & Byrne, R.W. (2012). Reply to Thornton & McAuliffe 2012. Animal Behaviour, 84(3), e1-e3. doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2012.06.013
Byrne, R.W. & Rapaport, L.G. (2011). What are we learning from teaching? Animal Behaviour, 82(5), 1207-1211. doi:10.1016/anbehav.2011.08.018
Rapaport, L.G. (2011). Progressive parenting behavior in wild golden lion tamarins. Behavioral Ecology, 22(4), 745-754. doi:10.1093/beheco/arr055
Rapaport, L.G. & Brown, G.R. (2008). Social influences on foraging behavior in young primates: learning what, where, and how to eat. Evolutionary Anthropology, 17(4), 189-201. doi: 10.1002/evan.20180

Honors and Awards

Collaborating Editor, Journal of Comparative Psychology (2017-present)
Clemson Thinks2 Faculty Scholar (2017-present)
Conservation Committee of the International Primatological Society, Committee member (2010–2013; 2015-present)
Clemson University Library Researcher of the Month (March 2014)
NSF Graduate Research Fellowship panel member: Organismal & Systematic Biology (2014)

College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences
College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences | 116 Edwards Hall