Diversity Statement

‘We understand that scientific excellence depends on creativity, that creativity emerges from diversity, and that the advantages of diversity are realized through inclusion.’

David Asai

Our lab recognizes that societal and institutional discrimination is real, persistent, and an unbearable burden for many in this world. We in PEEL want to welcome, encourage, and support all individuals within our academic and community space. We are committed to cultivate a collaborative and safe environment that is equitable and attainable for all. We welcome people of all backgrounds, regardless of race, color, gender, orientation, nationality, religion, disability, socioeconomic status, and age. We know it is not enough to say that we will “not be racist” or “discriminatory”. We act against racism by acknowledging personal privileges, confronting discriminatory acts, and work to change our implicit biases. Additionally, we make it a priority to work with and take guidance from local organizations, individuals, and institutions in the field. Progress and innovation come from the integration of ideas by individuals with a diverse mix of backgrounds, experiences, and identities. More time and energy should and will be given to those who have been overlooked in history and society, allowing for new perspectives and questions to be born. We are always looking for and want to work with interested collaborators, colleagues, peers, and students.

PI: Michael Wasserman


I am associate professor of Anthropology and Human Biology at Indiana University Bloomington, as well as P.I. of the Primate Environmental Endocrinology Lab (PEEL).

From 2013-2016, I was assistant professor of Environmental Science and Policy at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas.  Prior to that, I was a Tomlinson postdoctoral research fellow and instructor in the Department of Anthropology at McGill University from 2011-2013.  I received my PhD from the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at the University of California, Berkeley, in 2011.  My undergraduate degrees are in Anthropology (BA) and Zoology (BS) from the University of Florida.

My research interests include primate ecology and evolution, environmental endocrinology, nutritional anthropology, and conservation and sustainability.  I am currently examining ecological and evolutionary relationships between wild primates and exogenous chemicals that interact with the endocrine system, including naturally-occurring phytosteroids and anthropogenic pesticides, with relevance to understanding the roles of endocrine disruptors in primate conservation and modern human morbidity, mortality, and reproduction.

PhD Students

Tessa Steiniche


Tessa is a PhD candidate in Biological Anthropology. Her research focuses on interactions between primates, endocrine-disrupting chemicals, and toxicology in their environment. Tessa conducts her fieldwork at Kibale National Park, Uganda, combining methods in ecology, toxicology, remote sensing, and environmental chemistry to understand how land use change is linked to primate exposure of anthropogenic pollutants, and the ecological and evolutionary implications of these interactions.

Eric Johnson


Eric is a PhD candidate in Biological Anthropology with a PSM in Environmental Science & Sustainability from St. Edward’s University (2017). Since 2016, he has worked on an NSF IRES grant to document the plant community across forest fragments in Costa Rica. He also collaborates with colleagues at the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) to rescue legacy field data to be used in ongoing research on long-term tropical plant growth. His current research in Costa Rica focuses on primate restoration ecology and primate community ecology. He combines methods of forest and primate censuses, GIS, and landowner surveys to understand how the evolution of the primate diet influences human-monkey community interactions and reforestation efforts.

Ashlee Webb


Elizabeth Coggeshall,


Coggeshall is a Biological Anthropology PhD Student in the PEEL Lab. She earned her MSc in Primate Behavior & Ecology in 2020 from Central Washington University. She has worked with alloprimates for approximately 10 years and in a variety of contexts. She has worked in Costa Rica, South Africa, at CSNW (https://chimpsnw.org), Thailand, Bhutan, and now is conducting her PhD research in the Himalayas of India as the co-director of the Himalayan Langur Project. Coggeshall’s research focuses on the interactions of and between anthropogenic activity and alloprimate developmental physiology. She also focuses her energy towards understanding alternative narratives and utilizes bioethical and ethnoprimatological theory, as well as visual anthropology and art within her research.

Yasmin Lord


Yasmin Lord is a 2nd year Biological Anthropology PhD student. Yasmin started her research career with studying and working with cetaceans in the Gulf Coast, and has worked at the Potawatomi zoo. Her doctoral research focuses on the impact pollution has on the endocrinology and reproduction of monkeys in Costa Rica, Panama, and captive settings. Her overall goals are to help bridge and work within zoo and field settings, in order to conserve and reintroduce threatened alloprimate species.

Michelle Reed


Undergraduate Students

Project Managers & Research Assistants

Research Scientists & Lab Technicians

Alec Iruri-Tucker

Former Lab Members

Former Post-Docs, PhD Students, Masters Students, Technicians, and Undergraduate Students