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Mary Lee Abshire Jensvold, Ph.D.

Mary Lee Jensvold is a Senior Lecturer in the Primate Behavior Program and Anthropology Department at Central Washington University. She is the Primate Communication Scientist and Associate Director at Fauna Foundation in Carignan, Quebec and past director of the Chimpanzee & Human Communication Institute. She has worked with the cross-fostered chimpanzees since 1986. Roger Fouts was her mentor for her M.S in Experimental Psychology from Central Washington University and Allen and Beatrix Gardner were her mentors for her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from University of Nevada-Reno. She specializes in ethological studies of apes, animal intelligence, communication, language, and culture. Her publications include conversational behaviors, private signing, phrase development, chimpanzee to chimpanzee conversation, imaginary play, and in chimpanzees. Other research includes caregiving practices, zoo visitor effects, and public education about chimpanzees. She is on the boards of the Animal Welfare Institute, Fauna Foundation, and Friends of Washoe and past Sigma Xi distinguished lecturer. She is active in improving conditions for captive chimpanzees.  She has published numerous journal articles, book chapters, and edited Chimpanzee Behaviour: Recent Understandings from Captivity and the Forest (2019).

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