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, innovate and learn. I am dedicated to applying what I learn about animal cognition and behavior to enhance captive animal welfare. Additionally, being a scientist 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.

Chimpanzees in Context

I am proud to announce that Chimpanzees in Context, the book I co-edited with Steve Ross, was released in 2020.

After a foreword by Jane Goodall, the book features sections that examine chimpanzee life histories and developmental milestones, behavior, methods of study, animal communication, cooperation, communication, and tool use. The book ends with chapters that consider how we can apply contemporary knowledge of chimpanzees to enhance their care and conservation.

The beautiful cover art is by Ashley Bedore.

Chimpanzees in Context was published by the University of Chicago Press and you can order your copy here.

Recent Academic Publications

Hopper LM (2021). Leveraging social learning to enhance captive animal care and welfare. Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens, 2(1), 21-40.

Hopper LM, Allritz M, Egelkamp CL, Huskisson SM, Jacobson SL, Leinwand JG & Ross SR (2021). A comparative perspective on three primate species' responses to a pictorial emotional Stroop task. Animals, 11(3), 588

Huskisson SM, Egelkamp CL, Jacobson SL, Ross SR & Hopper LM (2021). Primates' food preferences predict their food choices even under uncertain conditions. Animal Behavior and Cognition, 8(1), 69-96.

Leinwand JG, Moyse JA, Hopper LM, Leahy M & Ross SR (2021). The use of biofloors in great ape zoo exhibits. Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research, 9(1), 41-48.

Cronin KA & Hopper LM (2020). Do monkeys care what's fair? Frontiers for Young Minds, 8, 00164.

Tennie C, Bandini E, van Schaik CP & Hopper LM (2020). The Zone of Latent Solutions and its relevance to understanding ape cultures. Biology & Philosophy, 35, 55.

Hopper LM, Jacobson SL & Howard LH (2020). Problem solving flexibility across early development. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 104966.

Contact me!

lydiahopper @ gmail.com