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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 233: Primates

    An in-depth examination of primates with a special emphasis on behavior. Students will learn about the non-human primates of the world through lectures, assigned readings, films, and independent projects. Topics to be covered are primate evolution, taxonomy, ecology, behavior, social organization/group life, cognition, and research. Offered every spring

  • ANTH 309: Top:Evol&Environ-human health

    This course will cover various topics in physical anthropology. Topics will rotate but will fall into the following categories: human ecology, primate behavior and ecology, human evolution, primate evolution, human anatomy, or primate anatomy. May be taken twice under different subtitles. Prerequisites: ANTH 201 or 204 or 233. Credits: 3(3-0) Offered every spring

  • ANTH 317: Human Osteology

    An in-depth introduction to the human skeleton via lecture, lab work using our extensive skeletal collection, and individual research. Topics to be explored are (1) anatomy, growth and development, biomechanics, pathologies, and aging and sexing of the human skeleton and (2) forensic theories and methodologies. Prerequisites: ANTH 105 or BIOL 103 or BIOL 116. Credits: 3(3-0) Offered every spring