​​Wild Minds LLC

Netzin’s research experience includes baboon affiliative behavior, field study of howler monkey calls in Costa Rica, the behavioral ecology of wild chimpanzees in eastern Zaire, and research at the Karisoke Research Center in Rwanda on the social organization of wild mountain gorillas, including studies on vocal communication, demography, and life history. Her current research includes the comparative study of primate families and paternal care (especially play), the role of personality in life history strategies, the comparative study of emotional awareness, and the biopsychology of human-animal interrelationships. Every summer, Netzin and her husband and colleague Dieter Steklis lead a University of Arizona Primate Studies Field School in Rwanda that attracts university students from all over the world.

Netzin G. Steklis holds a B.A. in Anthropology and Biology from the University of Chicago and an M.A. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University. For more than 10 years, Netzin served as the Director of Scientific Information Resources for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, a non-profit organization dedicated to gorilla research and conservation in Africa. Presently she serves as Lecturer for the University of Arizona in Family Studies & Human Development and Animal & Comparative Biomedical Sciences. She is also an Affiliate Faculty in the Dept. of Psychology’s Program in Ethology & Evolutionary Psychology.

Steklis’ teaching, research and published books and scientific articles reflect multidisciplinary interests, including the neurobiology of primate social bonds, hormones and social behavior, primate communication, cognition and the evolution of human language and self-awareness, mountain gorilla behavior, personality, and conservation, the evolution of primate play and paternal behavior, and the evolution and nature of human-animal relationships. In addition to his academic career, Steklis held leadership positions with the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International a non profit organization dedicated to gorilla research and conservation in Africa. He served as Director of the Karisoke Research Center in Rwanda (1991-1993); Executive Director (1993-1995), and Chief Scientist and Vice-President (1995-2005).  Every summer, Dieter and his wife and colleague Netzin Steklis lead a University of Arizona Primate Studies Field School in Rwanda that attracts university students from all over the world.

Who We Are

 H. Dieter Steklis, Ph.D.

H. Dieter Steklis earned his Ph.D. in Anthropology in 1974 from the University of California, Berkeley.  He joined Rutgers University in 1974, serving as Professor of Anthropology until “retiring” in 2004 as Professor Emeritus of Primatology. Steklis joined the University of Arizona South in 2007, where he served as Associate Dean and Division Chair, and is presently Professor and Program Director for Anthropology, with affiliated appointments on main campus as Professor of Psychology, Program in Ethology and Evolutionary Psychology, Adjunct Professor of Family Studies and Human Development, and Research Professor in Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences. 

About Us

 Netzin G. Steklis, M.A.