Lab members & Prospective students


Students interested in pursuing a graduate degree in Biology at the Master’s or PhD level should take the time to review my recent publications and should contact me directly (vschoof[at]glendon[dot]yorku[dot]ca); applicants should sent an email detailing their research interests, include a CV, academic transcript (unofficial is OK), and the name and contact information for three references. At this time, I am looking for 1 PhD student, and possibly one MSc student, for September 2020. Interested students who wish to apply for NSERC CGS-D, NSERC CGS-M, or provincial funding (e.g., FQRNT) should contact me well in advance of the application deadlines.

Students with a background in biology, environmental studies, biological anthropology, psychology, or other related fields are welcome to apply. I am especially interested in applicants who would like to focus on some aspect of vervet reproductive strategies, dominance, development, life-history, and/or endocrinology (field sites: Lake Nabugabo, Uganda and Lewa-Borana Conservancy, Kenya). Please see York’s “Steps to apply“.


Simon L'Allier

Simon L’Allier, MSc student 2018-2020: Simon is interested in the proximate factors that lead to dispersal in male primates. His thesis will focus on male vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus pygerythrus) at Lake Nabugabo, Uganda,  where he will examine behaviour and dominance status before and after dispersal. He graduated with a B.Sc. in Anthropology at the University of Montreal in 2018.

KarinKarin Snyder, MSc student 2018-2020: Karin is broadly interested in primate endocrinology, sexual signaling and dominance. She will assess whether androgen and glucocorticoid levels are associated with male dominance rank, and whether rank and hormone primate are useful predictors of genital coloration in wild vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus pygerythrus) at the Nabugabo Vervet Project in southwestern Uganda. Karin received her B.Sc. in Environmental Biology from MacEwan University in Edmonton in 2016 and since then has been working alongside researchers as an assistant.

Dina Greenberg, undergraduate research assistant 2016-present, NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award 2019: Dina started off as a volunteer research assistant processing hormone samples from Solid Phase Extraction cartridges collected from vervets. She is currently working on her undergraduate Honours thesis and has recently received a 2019 Undergraduate Summer Research Award from NSERC, which will allow her to complete and publish her research on the hormonal correlated of genital coloration in vervet monkeys.  For the past two summers (2017, 2018), she has worked in Dr. Valerius’ lab at the Brigham Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School doing research on the development of tools suited for human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) lines and organoids.


Megan Schwegel, NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award 2018: Megan was awarded an NSERC Undergraduate Research Award and spent the 2018 Summer studying the influence of maternal dominance rank on mothering style in vervets. She will return to the lab for the 2019-2020 academic year to complete an honours thesis using the data she collected in 2018.


Kat Zogorulko, undergraduate research assistant 2017-present: Kat is an undergraduate student (BSc in Biology at York’s Glendon College) who has been working on extracting and organizing demographic information for our three vervet study groups. She spent Summer 2018 doing an internship in Costa Rica, helping with a range of projects in tropical ecology.



Dr. Dennis Twinomugisha, Project Manager for the Nabugabo Fish & Monkey Project:


Mr. Matovu Ponsiano, Field Assistant: Matovu has worked with the monkey project for eleven years.  In that time, he has habituated three monkey groups (M group, KS group, and HC group). He has lots of knowledge of indigenous tree, bird, butterfly and frog species and is always happy to share that knowledge with others. He is still working with the project, collecting lots of data and helping many students along the way.

LivingstoneMr. Livingstone Katwere, Field Assistant: Livingstone has worked with the monkey project for seven years.  He has habituated three monkey groups, and contributed to the collection of scan data, behavioural data, fecal samples, photo data and lots more!  He likes to share his knowledge with others and is always available to help. He is always brightening up field work with his sense of dry humor!

HillaryMr. Hillary Tashobya, Field Assistant: Hillary has been working for the monkey research project since 2016.  He is working as a field assistant doing scans, collecting behavioural data, and fecal sample collection.  He also has knowledge about many tree species, is a dedicated worker eager to learn new things, and has a great appreciation for the natural environment, which he shares with others through his sense of humor and infectious smile!

Lindah close upMs. Lindah Nabukenya, Field Assistant:





Victor Olek, NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award 2017 (co-supervised  with Laura McKinnon)

Kyle T. Hendrikson, 2017-2019




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