Dr Lydia M. Hopper

About Me

I am the Assistant Director of the Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes at Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, USA. I oversee the design, coordination, and running of our in-house behavioral and cognitive research with our chimpanzees, gorillas and Japanese macaques.

As a comparative psychologist I'm interested in how we, and our primate cousins, learn, innovate and make decisions. I am also passionate about understanding primate behavior so that we can provide the best possible care for them in captivity. Beyond academic research, working at a zoo enables me to be actively engaged in public understanding of science and to train the next generation of primatologists by promoting the professional development of our research assistants and interns.

Recent publications

Hopper LM & Torrance AW (2019). User innovation: a novel framework for studying animal innovation within a comparative context. Animal Cognition, 22(6), 1185-1190

ManyPrimates, Altschul DM, Beran MJ, Bohn M, Call J, DeTroy S, Duguid SJ, Egelkamp CE, Fichtel C, Fischer J, Flessart M, Hanus D, Haun DBM, Haux LM, Hernandez-Aguilar R, Herrmann E, Hopper LM, Joly M, Kano F, Keupp S, Melis AP, Rodrigo AM, Ross SR, Sánchez-Amaro A, Sato Y, Schmitt V, Schweinfurth MK, Seed AM, Taylor D, Völter CJ, Warren E & Watzek J (2019). Establishing an infrastructure for collaboration in primate cognition research. PLoS ONE, 14(10), e0223675.

Egelkamp CL, Jacobson SL, Cronin KA, Wagner KE, Ross SR & Hopper LM (2019). A comparison of sequential learning errors made by apes and monkeys reveals individual but not species differences in learning. International Journal of Comparative Psychology, 32.

Hopper LM, Fernandez-Duque E & Williams LE (2019). Testing the weekend effect hypothesis: time of day and lunar phase better predict the timing of births in laboratory-housed primates than day of week. American Journal of Primatology, 81(7), e23026.

Saiyed SA, Hopper LM & Cronin KA (2019). Evaluating the behavior and temperament of African penguins in a non-contact animal encounter program. Animals, 9(6), 326.

Bonnie KE, Bernstein-Kurtycz LM, Shender MA, Ross SR & Hopper LM (2019). Foraging in a social setting: a comparative analysis of captive gorillas and chimpanzees. Primates, 60(2), 125-131.

Hopper LM, Egelkamp CE, Fidino M & Ross SR (2019). An assessment of touchscreens for testing primate food preferences and valuations. Behavior Research Methods, 51(2), 639-650

Jacobson SL & Hopper LM (2019). Hardly habitual: chimpanzees and gorillas show flexibility in their motor responses when presented with a causally-clear task. PeerJ, 7,e6195

Contact me!

lydiahopper @ gmail.com