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Barbara J. Welker

Associate Professor
Bailey 150

Barbara J. Welker has been a member of the Geneseo faculty since 1997.

Office Hours

Wednesday 2-4
Thursday 12-1

Curriculum Vitae


  • Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo
    "Proximate mechanisms governing feeding behavior and selectivity in mantled howler monkeys, Alouatta palliata. Ph.D. Thesis, State University of New York, Buffalo, New York.

  • M.A., State University of New York at Buffalo

  • B.A., State University of New York at Buffalo


  • Melin A.D., Ketpal V., Matsushita Y., Zhou K., Campos F.A., Welker B., Kawamura S. (2017) Howler monkey foraging ecology suggests convergent evolution of routine trichromacy as an adaptation for folivory. Ecology and Evolution. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.2716.

  • Welker B.J. (2017) The evolution of our tribe: Hominini. SUNY Open Access Publications.

  • Welker B. Embedding undergraduate research in an Anthropology curriculum. CUR Quarterly: 37 (1),

  • Welker BJ (2015) Factors Involved in Variation in Tree and Species Use by Mantled Howler Monkeys. Pages 495-523 in Huettmann F. (ed.), Biodiversity of Central America: An Overview. Springer Publisher, New York.

  • Matsushita, Y., Oota, H., Welker, B. J., Pavelka, M. S. and Kawamura, S. (2014). Color vision variation as evidenced by hybrid L/M opsin genes in wild populations of trichromatic Alouatta New World monkeys. International Journal of Primatology 35 (1): 71-87.

  • Welker B.J., W. König, M. Pietsch, R. Adams. (2007) Feeding selectivity by mantled howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata) in relation to leaf secondary chemistry in Hymenaea courbaril, J Chem Ecology 33: 1186-1196.

More About Me

Research Interests

  • 2005: A geographic analysis of goal-directed travel in mantled howler monkeys, Area de Conservacion, Sector Santa Rosa, Costa Rica and GIS Lab, SUNY Geneseo
  • 1999-2003: Factors affecting sleeping and resting site choice in mantled howler monkeys, Area de Conservacion, Sector Santa Rosa, Costa Rica
  • 1999-present: Phytochemical influences on mantled howler monkey diet, Area de Conservacion, Sector Santa Rosa, Costa Rica
  • 1998-present: Phytochemical analyses of Hymenaea courbaril plant specimens to examine sesquiterpene content in relation to tree use by mantled howler monkeys, Institute for Organic Chemistry, Hamburg, Germany and Texas A & M, College Station, Texas


  • Primate behavioral ecology
  • Primate feeding ecology
  • Feeding selectivity in mantled howler monkeys
  • Proximate mechanisms involved in primate food choice
  • Interaction between plant primary/secondary chemistry and dietary selectivity
  • Behavioral ecology of human and nonhuman primates


  • ANTH 105: S/Int to Physical Anthropology

    An introduction to physical/biological anthropology, i.e. the study of humans as biological organisms. The course explores relevant theories, methodologies, and contemporary issues within this subdiscipline of anthropology, via lectures, lab work, and workshops. Topics to be covered are human genetics, evolution, variation, growth and development, and behavioral ecology, as well as primate evolution and behavior. Offered every fall

  • ANTH 316: Human Ecology

    An examination of human ecology within an evolutionary, biocultural, and cross-species/cross-cultural framework. The course is divided as follows: (1) history, theories, and methods of ecological anthropology and human behavioral ecology; (2) human biocultural adaptations to the various global biomes via lectures, films, ethnographies, and discussion; (3) the adaptive significance of human behavior from a cross-species perspective, via assigned readings and discussion; (4) student presentations based upon individual research focused on relevant/related topics in human ecology; and (5) intertwined throughout is consideration of the sustainability of our past, present, and future activities. Prerequisites: ANTH 105 or ENVR 124. Credits: 3(3-0) Offered every fall