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Larissa Swedell
Position: Professor, Anthropology
Professor, Biology
Professor, Psychology
Campus Affiliation: Queens College
Degrees/Diplomas: Ph.D. in Anthropology, Columbia University
B.A. in Anthropology, Cornell University
Research Interests: Primate Behavior, Sociality, Evolution of Behavior, Sexual Selection, Sexual Conflict, Human Evolution
Subfield: Physical Anthropology

Dr. Larissa Swedell is a biological anthropologist whose work focuses on the social behavior and ecology of nonhuman primates.  Her primary research interests center on the interacting biological and behavioral strategies of males and females and the implications of these interactions for the evolution of sociality.  Her taxonomic focus is Papio baboons, and most of her work to date has focused on hamadryas baboons (Papio hamadryas hamadryas) at the Filoha field site in Ethiopia, where she co-directs the Filoha Hamadryas Project with Shahrina Chowdhury (Brooklyn College).

Selected Publications:

  • Chowdhury, S., Brown, J. & Swedell, L. (2020) Anthropogenic effects on the physiology and behaviour of chacma baboons in the Cape Peninsula of South Africa. Cons Physiol 8 (1): coaa066 (
  • Grueter, C.C., Qi, X., Zinner, D., Bergman, T., Li, M., Xiang, Z., Zhu, P., Migliano, A.B., Miller, A., Krützen, M., Fischer, J., Rubenstein, D.I., Vidya, T.N.C., Li, B.-G., Cantor, M. & Swedell, L. (2020) Multilevel organisation of animal sociality. TREE 35 (9): 835-847 (
  • Swedell, L. & Plummer, T. (2019) Social evolution in Plio-Pleistocene hominins: insights from hamadryas baboons and paleoecology.  J Hum Evol 137: 102667 (
  • Städele, V., Pines, M., Swedell, L., & Vigilant, L. (2016) The ties that bind: Maternal kin bias in a multilevel primate society despite natal dispersal by both sexes. Am J Primatol  78: 731-744 (
  • Chowdhury, S., Pines, M., Saunders, J., & Swedell, L. (2015) The adaptive value of secondary males in the polygynous multi-level society of hamadryas baboons. Am J Phys Anthropol 158: 501-513 (
  • Swedell, L., Leedom, L., Saunders, J., & Pines, M. (2014) Sexual conflict in a polygynous primate: costs and benefits of a male-imposed mating system. Beh Ecol Sociobiol 68: 263-273 (
  • Swedell, L. & Plummer, T. (2012) A papionin multilevel society as a model for hominin social evolution. Int J Primatol 33: 1165-1193 (
  • Swedell, L., Saunders, J., Schreier, A., Davis, B., Tesfaye, T., & Pines, M. (2011) Female “dispersal” in hamadryas baboons: Transfer among social units in a multilevel society. Am J Phys Anthropol 145: 360-370 (

Additional publications available here: