Benjamin B. Beck is a comparative psychologist specializing in animal cognition and biodiversity conservation. Research on problem-solving and tool use by primates and birds led to a frequently cited book, Animal Tool Behavior, published in 1980. A second edition, co-authored with Rob Shumaker and Kristina Walkup, was published in May 2011. He published a novel titled Thirteen Gold Monkeys in 2013 that is based on the reintroduction of golden lion tamarins in Brazil, and another, Ape, that is based on research, conservation, cognition and personhood of chimpanzees in Rwanda.


In the 1980s, Beck turned his interest in cognition to management and psychological welfare of zoo animals. He co-authored a 1988 survey of zoo gorillas demonstrating the importance of mother-rearing and early social experience for adult sexual and maternal skills. Beck also began to study the adaptation to the wild by reintroduced captive-born animals. Beck coordinated the preparation, reintroduction and post-release monitoring of 146 golden lion tamarins in Brazil between 1983 and 2005. The reintroduced population has now grown to 1,000, about one third of the entire wild population. He is lead author of Best Practice Guidelines for the Re-introduction of Great Apes, published in 2007 by the Section on Great Apes of the IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group. He served as director of conservation for Great Ape Trust from 2003 to 2011, coordinating an initiative in Rwanda to found a national conservation park in the Gishwati Forest and conserve a small chimpanzee population living there. In fewer than three years, the protected area of Gishwati increased from 2,190 acres to 3,665 acres, and the chimpanzee population grew from 13 to 20, probably the first time the population has grown in more than 40 years. The government of Rwanda officially created the Gishwati-Mukura National Park in 2016.


Beck studied at Union College (NY), received his MA from Boston University, and his PhD from the University of Chicago. He was Research Curator and Curator of Primates at Brookfield Zoo from 1970 to 1982, where he was a principal in the design and construction of “Tropic World”, one of the first large-scale mixed species tropical forest exhibits. He served at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoological Park as General Curator and Associate Director from 1983 until his retirement in 2003. He designed the National Zoo’s innovative free-ranging golden lion tamarin exhibit, and was project executive for “Think Tank”, a pioneering exhibit on animal thinking that opened in 1995. He was on the negotiating team that brought giant pandas from China to the Zoo in 2000. Beck was appointed Scientist Emeritus in the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in 2010. He received an Alumni Professional Achievement Citation from the University of Chicago in 2003.


Beck is an author of more than 80 scientific papers and books, many popular articles and blogs, and has given over 100 presentations and keynote addresses at scientific conferences and colleges and universities. Beck is a member of the Primate Specialist Group of the World Conservation Union (IUCN), and serves on the Board of Directors of Save the Golden Tamarin, a USA-based conservation support organization. He recently published a monograph titled A History of Primate Reintroduction, which documents the reintroduction of 23,000 individual primates in 200 different programs. The first draft, with opportunity for peer review, can be found at He currently works as a novelist, scientific copy editor, and consultant.


Address: 9346 Cropper Island Road; Newark, MD 21841; USA

Phone: 301 802-2639

FAX: 410 629-0486











Scientist Emeritus; Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute; January 2011 to present.


Adjunct Professor of Environmental Science, Drake University; Fall 2011.


Affiliate Professor of Anthropology, Iowa State University; 2009 to 2011.


Director of Conservation, Great Ape Trust of Iowa; November 2003 to December 2011.


Adjunct Assistant Professor of Environmental Sciences and Policy, Drake University, Spring 2006.


Associate Director for Animal Programs, National Zoological Park, Smithsonian Institution; September 2000 to August 2003

(retired from federal government service).


Associate Director for Biological Programs, National Zoological Park, Smithsonian Institution; May 1990 to September 2000


Acting Associate Director, National Zoological Park; July 1988 to May 1990.


Assistant Director for Animal Exhibits, National Zoological Park; March 1988 to May 1990.


General Curator, National Zoological Park; April 1986 to March 1988.


Research Primatologist, National Zoological Park; August 1983 to April 1986.


Visiting Lecturer in Anthropology, University of Illinois at Chicago Circle; September 1982 to August 1983.


Research Curator and Curator of Primates, Chicago Zoological Park; August 1970 to February 1982.


Assistant Professorial Lecturer, Biological Sciences Collegiate Division, University of Chicago; 1971 to 1975.


Assistant Professor of Psychology and Tutor in Thomas Jefferson College, Grand Valley State Colleges; September 1969 to June 1970.


Assistant Professor of Behavioral Sciences, The New Division, Nasson College; September 1967 to June 1969.




Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1967; Psychology.

M.A., Boston University, 1963; Psychology.

B.S., Union College (NY), 1962; Psychology.




Reintroduction and in situ conservation of endangered species.

Tool use and tool manufacture by nonhuman animals and early hominids.

Evolution of cognition and intelligence.




Comparative Psychology, Learning, Sensory Processes, Ethology/Animal Behavior, Evolution of Behavior, Primate Behavior, Physical Anthropology, Introductory Psychology, Anthropology, Biology, Conservation Biology, Reintroduction.




A study of problem solving by gibbons.  Behaviour, 1967, 28:95-109.


The behavior of gray langurs at a Ceylonese waterhole.  In R.H. Tuttle (ed.), Functional and Evolutionary Biology of Primates (Chicago, Aldine-Atherton, 1972).  Pp. 351-377. (First author with R.H. Tuttle.)


Knuckle walking hand postures in an orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus).  Nature, 1972, 236:33-34. (Second author with R.H. Tuttle.)


Tool use in captive hamadryas baboons.  Primates, 1972, 13:277-295.


Observation learning of tool use by captive Guinea baboons.  American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 1973, 38:579-582.


Cooperative tool use by captive hamadryas baboons.  Science, 1973, 182:594-597.


Behavior and activity cycles of Gambel’s quail and raptorial birds at a Sonoran Desert waterhole.  Condor, 1973, 75:466-470. (First author with C.W. Engen and P.W. Gelfand.)


Retinal degeneration in a baboon.  American Journal of Ophthalmology, 1974, 78:279-284. (Second author with S.J. Vainisi and D.J. Apple.)


Baboons, chimpanzees, and tools.  Journal of Human Evolution, 1974, 3:509-516.


The problem of animal escapes.  Der Zoologische Garten, 1974, 44: 52-58. (Third author with G.B. Rabb, R. Horwich, and G.K. Boese.)


Student behavioral research in zoos.  In Research in Zoos and Aquariums (Washington, D.C., National Academy of Sciences, 1975).  Pp. 91-102.


Primate tool behavior.  In R.H. Tuttle (ed.), Socioecology and Psychology of Primates (The Hague, Mouton, 1975).  Pp. 413-447.


Tool use in captive pigtailed macaques.  Primates, 1976, 17:301-310.


Kőhler's chimpanzees - How did they really perform?  Der Zoologische Garten, 1977, 47:352-360.


Ontogeny of tool use by nonhuman animals.  In G.M. Burghardt and M. Bekoff (eds.), The Development of Behavior (New York, Garland, 1978).  Pp. 405-419.


Talkers and doers.  The Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 1978, 1:557.


Animal Tool Behavior.  The Use and Manufacture of Tools by Animals. (New York, Garland, 1980). 307 pp.


Fertility in North American male lowland gorillas.  American Journal of Primatology, Supplement, 1982, 1:7-11.


Chimpocentrism: Bias in cognitive ethology. Journal of Human Evolution, 1982, 11:3-17.


Breeding callimicos (Callimico goeldii) at Brookfield Zoo. International Zoo Yearbook, 1982, 33:106-114. (First author with D. Anderson, J.D. Ogden, B. Rettberg, R. Scola, C. Brejla and M. Warneke.)


Pere David's Deer- The Biology and Management of an Extinct Species. (Park Ridge, New Jersey, Noyes, 1983.) (First author with C. Wemmer.)


The Ethogram.  In B. Beck and C. Wemmer (eds.), Pere David's Deer: The Biology and Management of an Extinct Species, (Park Ridge, New Jersey, Noyes, 1983.) (Second author with C. Wemmer, L. Collins, and B. Rettberg.) Pp. 91-125.


Managerial strategies in the captive propagation of endangered species.  Zoo Biology, 1983, 2:253-257.


The birth of a lowland gorilla in captivity.  Primates, 1984, 25:378-383.

The great escape.  On The Edge, 1984, 25:11, 17.

Double jeopardy: The gorilla dilemma.  Zoogoer, 1985, 14:9-15.


A conservation program for golden lion tamarins.  In AAZPA Annual Conference Proceedings (Wheeling, West Virginia, AAZPA, 1985).  Second author with D. Kleiman, J.M Dietz, L.A. Dietz, J. Ballou, A. Coimbra-Filho.) Pp 60-62.


Conservation program for the golden lion tamarin: Captive research and management, ecological studies, educational strategies, and reintroduction.  In K. Benirschke (ed.), Primates: The Road to Self-Sustaining Populations (New York, Springer-Verlag, 1986).  Second author with D. Kleiman, J.M. Dietz, L.A. Dietz, J. Ballou and A. Coimbra-Filho.  Pp. 959-979.


Tools and intelligence.  In R. Hoage and L. Goldman (eds.), Animal Intelligence- Insights Into the Animal Mind (Washington, D.C., Smithsonian Institution Press, 1986).  Pp 135-147.


Projeto Mico-Leao.  IV.  Reintroducao de Micos-Leoes-Dourados, Leontopithecus rosalia (Linnaeus, 1766) (Callitrichidae, Primates) de Cativeiro par seu Ambiente Natural.  In M. Thiago de Mello (ed.), A Primatologia no Brazil-2 (Brazilia, Sociedade Brasileria de Primatologia, 1986).  Pp 243-248. (First author with J.M. Dietz, D.G. Kleiman, M.I. Castro, R.M. de Sa, and V.L. Luz).


Correlates of sexual and maternal competence in captive gorillas. Zoo Biology, 1988, 7: 339-350. (First author with M. Power).


Tutoring tamarins.  On the Edge, 1989, 39: 11-13. (Second author with D.Kleiman, I. Castro, B. Rettberg-Beck, C. Carvalho).


Innovation, exhibition and conservation: Free-ranging tamarins at the National Zoological Park.  Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums, 1989: 540-546. (Second author with E. Bronikowski and M. Power).


The conservation program for the golden lion tamarin, Leontopithecus rosalia.  Endangered Species UPDATE, 1990, 8: 82-85. (Second author with D.G. Kleiman, A.J. Baker, J.D. Ballou, LA Dietz, J.M. Dietz).


Costs of a reintroduction and criteria for success: Accounting and accountability in the Golden Lion Tamarin Conservation Program.  In J.H.W. Gipps (ed.), Beyond Captive Breeding Reintroducing Endangered Species to the Wild (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1991). (Second author with D.G. Kleiman, J.M. Dietz, L.A. Dietz).  Pp. 125-142.


Losses and reproduction in reintroduced golden lion tamarins. Dodo, Journal of the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust, 1990, 27: 50-61. (First author with D.G. Kleiman, J.M. Dietz, I. Castro, C. Carvalho, A. Martins, B. Rettberg-Beck).


Managing zoo environments for reintroduction.  Proceedings of the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums, 1991: 436-440.


Mind matters at the Zoo.  Zoogoer, 1993: 22-25. (First author with L. Dolnick, D. Jenkins, S. Keane-Timberlake, R. Shumker, L. Stevens).


Medical considerations of reintroduction.  In M. E. Fowler (ed.), Zoo and Wild Animal Medicine, 3 (Philadelphia, W.B. Saunders, 1993).  Pp. 24-26. (Second author with M. Bush, R. Montali).


Reintroduction of captive-born animals.  In G. Mace, P. Olney, A. Feistner (eds.), Creative Conservation, Interactive Management of Wild and Captive Animals (London, Chapman and Hall, 1994).  Pp 265-286. (First author with L.G. Rapaport, M.R. Stanley Price, A.C. Wilson).


Criteria for reintroductions.  In G. Mace, P. Olney, A. Feistner (eds.), Creative Conservation, Interactive Management of Wild and Captive Animals (London, Chapman and Hall, 1994), Pp. 287-303. (Third author with D.G. Kleiman, M.R. Stanley Price).


Environments for endangered primates.  In E. F. Gibbons, E.J. Wyers, E. Waters, E.W. Menzel, Jr. (eds.), Naturalistic Captive Environments for Animal Behavior Research (Albany, State

University of New York Press, 1994).  Pp 259-279. (First author with I. Castro).


Locomotion of free-ranging golden lion tamarins (Leontopithecus rosalia) at the National Zoological Park.  Zoo Biology, 1994, 13(4): 333-344. (Third author with B. J. Stafford, A.L. Rosenberger).


Reintroduction, zoos, conservation, and animal welfare.  In B.G. Norton, M. Hutchins, E.F. Stevens, T.L. Maple (eds.), Ethics on the Ark (Washington, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1995). Pp. 155-163.


Radiographic evaluation of diaphragmatic defects in golden lion tamarins (Leontopithecus rosalia rosalia): Implications for reintroduction.  The Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, 1996, 27(3): 346-357.  (Second author with M. Bush, J. Dietz, A. Baker, A. Everette James, A. Pissinatti, L. Phillips, R. Montali).


Reintroduction of captive-bred animals.  In G.M. Burghardt, J.T. Bielitzki, J.R. Boyce, D.O. Schaeffer (eds.), The Well-being of Animals in Zoo and Aquarium Sponsored Research (Greenbelt, Maryland, Scientists Center for Animal Welfare, 1996). Pp. 62-65.


The gateway zoo program: A recent initiative in golden lion tamarin reintroductions. In J. Wallis (ed.), Primate Conservation: The Role of Zoological Parks (American Society of Primatologists, 1997). Pp. 112-130.  (Second author with T. Stoinski, M. Bowman, J. Lehnhardt).


Environmental enrichment in a reintroduction program for golden lion tamarins (Leontopithecus rosalia).  In D. Sheperdson, J. Mellen, M. Hutchins (eds.), Second Nature – Environmental Enrichment for Captive Animals) (Washington, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998).  Pp. 113-128.  (Second author with M.I. Castro, D.G. Kleiman, C.R. Ruiz-Miranda, A. L. Rosenberger).


Factors affecting mirror behavior in western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla).  Animal Behaviour, 1999, 57(5): 999-1004.  (Third author with D.J. Shillito, G.G. Gallup).


Food transfers in wild and reintroduced golden lion tamarins, Leontopithecus rosalia.  American Journal of Primatology, 1999, 48:305-320.  (Seventh author with C.R. Ruiz-Miranda, D.G. Kleiman, J.M. Dietz, E. Moraes, A.D. Grativol, A.J. Baker).


Homing and detour behavior in golden lion tamarin social groups.  In S. Boinski and P.A. Garber (eds.), On the Move: How and Why Animals Travel in Groups (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2000).  Pp. 299-326. (Second author with C.R. Menzel).


Distribucão no Sagui (Callithrix jacchus) nas areas de ocorrencia do Mico Leão Dourado (Leontopithecus rosalia) no Estado do Rio de Janeiro. Neotropical Primates 2000, 8(3): 98-101. (Fourth author with Ruiz-Miranda, C.R., Affonso, A.G., Martins, A.)


Spontaneous tool use in captive, free-ranging golden lion tamarins.  Primates 2001, 42(4): 319-326. (Second author with Stoinski, T.S.)


A vision for reintroduction. AZA Communique, September, 2001, pp 20-21.


Great Apes and Humans: The Ethics of Coexistence (Washington, DC, Smithsonian Institution Press, 2001). (Lead editor with Stoinski, T.S., Hutchins, M., Maple, T.L., Norton, B., Rowan, A., Stevens, E.F., Arluke, A.). 388 pp.


Spontaneous use of magnitude discrimination and ordination by the orang utan. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 2001, 115(4): 385-391. (Third author with R.W. Shumaker, A.M. Palkovich, G. Guagnano, H.Morowitz).


The effects of pre-release environments on survivorship in reintroduced golden lion tamarins.  In D.G. Kleiman and A Rylands (eds.) The Lion Tamarins: Twenty-Five Years of Research and Conservation (Washington, DC, Smithsonian Institution Press, 2002). Pp 283-300. (First author with M.I. Castro, T.S. Stoinski, J. Ballou).


Reintroduction and translocation as conservation tools for golden lion tamarins. In D.G. Kleiman and A Rylands (eds.) The Lion Tamarins: Twenty-Five Years of Research and Conservation (Washington, DC, Smithsonian Institution Press, 2002). Pp 271-282. (Third author with M.C.M. Kierulff, P.P. de Oliveira, and A. Martins.


A behavioral comparison of captive-born, reintroduced golden lion tamarins and their wild-born offspring.  Behaviour, 2003, 140: 137-160. (Second author with T.S. Stoinski, B.B. Beck, M.A. Bloomsmith and T.L. Maple).


Primates in Question (Washington, D.C., Smithsonian Institution Press, 2003). Second author with Rob Shumaker).


Changes in locomotor and foraging skills in captive-born, reintroduced golden lion tamarins (Leontopithecus rosalia rosalia). American Journal of Primatology, 2004, 62: 1-13. (Second author with T.S. Stoinski).


Successful artificial insemination of an Asian elephant at the National Zoological Park. Zoo Biology, 2004, 23: 45-63. (Fifteenth author with J.L. Brown, F. Goritz, N. Pratt-Hawkes, R. Hermes, M. Galloway, L.H. Graham, C. Gray, S.L. Walker, A. Gomez, R. Moreland, S. Murray, D.L. Schmitt, J Howard, J. Lehnhardt, A. Bellem, R. Montali and T.B. Hildebrandt).


Interações ecológicas entre mico leão dourado (Leontopithecus rosalia Linneaus, 1766) reintroduzido e mico-estrela (Callithrix jacchus Linneaus, 1758) em fragmentos de Mata Atlậntica, RJ. In: Mendes, S.L. and A.G Chiarello (eds) A Primatologia do Brasil, Volume 8 (2004, Vitoria, Instituto de Pesquisas da Mata Atlantica and Sociedade Brasileira de Primatologia). Pp 123-134. (Third author with Affonso, A. and Ruiz-Miranda, C.R.


Animals in Advertising. AZA Communique 2005, (May): 47-49. (First author with Stoinski, T., Shumaker, R., Ross, S. and L. Perkins.


Understanding visual barriers: Preliminary evidence for Level 1 perspective taking in an orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus). Animal Behaviour, 2005, 69: 679-687. (Fourth author with D.J. Shillito, R.W. Shumaker, and G.G. Gallup).


Producing behavioral competencies in reintroduced golden lion tamarins (Leontopithecus rosalia rosalia). International Journal of Primatology, 2006, 27 (Supp 1): #75. Second author with T. Stoinski.


Reintroduction of golden lion tamarins (Leontopithecus r. rosalia): Implications for African apes. International Journal of Primatology, 2006, 27 (Supp 1): #489. First author with D.M. Rambaldi.


Prevalence and intensity of intestinal helminths found in free-ranging golden lion tamarins (Leontopithecus rosalia, Primates, Callitrichidae) from Brazilian Atlantic forest. Veterinary Pathology, 2007, 145: 77-85. Third author with R.V. Monteiro, J.M. Dietz, A.J. Baker, A. Martins, and A.M. Jansen.


Parasite community interactions: Trypanosoma cruzi and intestinal helminthes infecting wild golden lion tamarins (Leontopithecus rosalia) and golden-headed lion tamarins

(L. chrysomelas) (Callitirchidae L., 1766). Parisitology Research, 2007. Fourth author with R.V. Monteiro, J.M. Dietz, B. Raboy, K.D. Vleeschouwer, A.J. Baker, A. Martins, and A.M. Jansen.


Best Practice Guidelines for the Re-introduction of Great Apes. 2007. IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland. (First author with K. Walkup, M. Rodrigues, S. Unwin, D. Travis and T. Stoinski.


Chimpanzee orphans: Sanctuaries, reintroduction and cognition. 2010. In: The Mind of the Chimpanzee: Ecological and Experimental Perspectives. Lonsdorf, E. V., Ross, S.R., Matsuzawa, T., and J. Goodall (eds.) (Chicago, University of Chicago Press). Pp 332-346.


Re-introduction and translocation of golden lion tamarins, Atlantic Coastal Forest, Brazil: The creation of a metapopulation. In: Global Re-introduction Perspectives: 2010. Soorae, P.S. (ed.) (Gland, IUCN). Pp 225-230. Second author with C.R. Ruiz-Miranda, D.G. Kleiman, A. Martins, J.M. Dietz, D.M. Rambaldi, C. Kierulff, P.P. de Oliveira, and A.J. Baker).


Predicting capacity demand on sanctuaries for African chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). International Journal of Primatology, on line 8 March 2011. Fifth author with L. Faust, D. Cress, K.H. Farmer, S.R. Ross.


Animal Tool Behavior: The Use and Manufacture of Tools by Animals (Second Edition). 2011. (Baltimore, Johns Hopkins Press). (Third author with Robert Shumaker and Kristina Walkup).


The golden lion tamarin Leontopithecus rosalia: a conservation success story. International Zoo Yearbook, 2012, 46: 36–45. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-1090.2012.00170.x Fourth author with M.C.M. Kierulff, C.R. Ruiz-Miranda, P.P. de Oliveira, A. Martins, J. M. Dietz, D.M. Rambaldi, and A.J. Baker.


Thirteen Gold Monkeys (a novel). 2013. (Denver, Outskirts Press).


Ape (a novel). 2015. (Berlin, MD, Salt Water Media).


The role of translocation in primate conservation. 2016. In:  Primate Conservation. Wich S.A. and Marshall, A.J., eds. (Oxford, U.K. Oxford University Press). Pp 242-255.


THRASOPS JACKSONII (Black Tree Snake) Predation. 2016. Herpetological Review, 47(2): 317-318. First author with P. Clay and A. Setka.


A History of Primate Reintroduction. 2017. Published on an open access website:






The effect of the rate and intensity of auditory click stimulation on pupil size.  Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association; Washington, D.C.; September 1967.


The behavior of primates at waterholes.  Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research Symposium #48; Burg-Wartenstein; Austria; July 1970.


Retinal degeneration in a baboon.  Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Veterinary Ophthalmology; Los Vegas, Nevada; September 1971. (Presented by S.J. Vainisi).


Observational learning of tool use by guinea baboons (Papio papio).  Fourth Congress of the International Primatological Society, Portland, Oregon; August 1972.


Tool use by captive baboons (film).  Eighth International Ethological Conference, Washington, D.C.; Angst 1973.


Primate tool behavior.  Ninth International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences; Chicago, Illinois; September 1973.


Student research in zoos.  Annual Meeting of the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums; Houston, Texas; October 1973.


Research in Zoos; Problems and Opportunities.  Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; San Francisco, California; February 1974.


Insight:  A qualitatively unique learning process?  Annual Meeting of the Animal Behavior Society; Champaign, Illinois; May 1974.


Tool use by captive pigtailed macaques.  Annual Meeting of the Animal Behavior Society; Wilmington, North Carolina; May 1975.


Predatory shell dropping by herring gulls.  Annual Meeting of the Animal Behavior Society; Boulder, Colorado; June 1976.


Cognitive aspects of tool behavior of nonhuman animals.  Midwest Regional Meeting of the Animal Behavior Society; Chicago, Illinois; November 1976.


Ontogeny of tool behavior by nonhuman animals.  Annual Meeting of the Animal Behavior Society; University Park, Pennsylvania; June 1977.


Insight, eyesight and hindsight.  Annual Meeting of the Western Psychological Association; San Francisco, California; April 1978.


Horn and antler adornment.  Annual Meeting of the Animal Behavior Society; Seattle, Washington; June 1978. (With B. Leja and K. Zemanek.)


Object play by captive polar bears.  Annual Meeting of the Animal Behavior Society; New Orleans, Louisiana; June 1979. (With G. Pluta.)


A comparison of the behavior of the European and North American bison.  Annual Meeting of the Animal Behavior Society; Fort Collins, Colorado; June 1980. (With G. Pluta, G. Hyatt and M. Nichols.)


Chimpomorphism: Bias in cognitive ethology.  Eighth Congress of the International Primatological Society; Florence, Italy; July 1980.


Reproduction among captive male gorillas in North America.  Workshop on Infertility in Male Great Apes; Atlanta, Georgia; November 1980.


Endangered species: opportunity and challenge.  Annual Meeting of the Animal Behavior Society; Knoxville, Tennessee; June 1981.


Current problems in gorilla management and reproduction. 36th Annual Conference of the International Union of Directors of Zoological Gardens; Front Royal, Virginia; September 1981.


Managerial strategies in the captive propagation of endangered species. Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association; Baltimore, Maryland; April 1982.


Maternal competence: The dynamics and importance of mother rearing in gorillas.  Ninth Congress of the International Primatological Society; Atlanta, Georgia; August 1982.


Development of social, sexual and parental competence in captive anthropoids.  Annual Meeting of the Animal Behavior Society, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania; June 1983.


0 Projecto Mico-Leao: Reintroducao de Micos-Leoes-Dourados (Leontopithecus rosalia-Linnaeus 1766).  Twelfth Brazilian Congress of Zoology; Sao Paulo, Brazil; January 1985. (With J.M. Dietz, D. Kleiman, M. Castro, R. Lemos de Sa, and V. Luz).


Conservation program for the Brazilian Golden Lion Tamarin. 65th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Mammalogists; Orono, Maine; June 1985. (With D. Kleiman, J.M. Dietz and L.A. Dietz).


Reintroducao de Micos-Leoes Dourados (Leontopithecus rosalia - Linneaus, 1766) (Callitrichidae, Primates) de cativeiro am seu Ambiente Natural.  Thirteenth Brazilian Congress of Zoology; Cuiaba, Mato Grosso, Brazil; February 1986. (With J.M. Dietz; D.G. Kleiman and M.T. Castro).


Fossey's contributions to the study of the mountain gorillas of the Virungas.  Tribute to Dian Fossey; National Geographic Society; Washington, D.C.; March 1986.


Preparation of golden lion tamarins for reintroduction to the wild.  Eleventh Congress of the International Primatological Society; Gottingen, West Germany; July 1986. (With D. Kleiman, J.M, Dietz, L.A. Dietz, M.I. Castro, B. Rettberg-Beck.)


Environments for endangered primates.  Workshop on Design and Use of Indoor Naturalistic Habitats for Behavioral Research; Stony Brook, New York; December, 1987. (With 1. Castro).


Preparing captive-born primates for reintroduction.  Twelfth Congress of the International Primatological Society; Brasilia, Brazil; July 1988. (With I. Castro, D. Kleiman, J. Dietz and

B. Rettberg-Beck).


Natural populations and release biology.  National Science Foundation Workshop on Single Species Biology; Front Royal, Virginia November 1988.


Progress in gorilla reproduction in the 1980s.  Workshop on Reproduction in the Great Apes; Atlanta; May 1989.


Costs of a reintroduction and criteria for success: Accounting and accountability in the golden lion tamarin conservation program.  Zoological Society of London Symposium on Beyond Captive Breeding: Re-Introducing Endangered Species to the Wild; London; November 1989.


Reintroducing zoo-born animals to the wild.  Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; Washington, D.C., February 1991.


Managing zoo environments for reintroduction.  Annual Meeting of the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums; San Diego, September 1991.


Reintroduction, zoos, conservation and animal welfare.  Bioethics Conference; Atlanta, March 1992.


Reintroduction of captive-born animals.  The Sixth World Conference on Breeding Endangered Species; Jersey (Channel Islands), May 1992.


Reintroduction of captive-born animals.  International Conference on Implications of Infectious Diseases for Captive Propagation and Reintroduction of Threatened Species; Oakland, November 1992.


Reintroduction of captive-born animals.  Annual Meeting of the Endangered Species Coalition; Washington, D.C., March 1993.


Reintroduction of captive-born animals.  Northeast Regional Meeting of the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums; Pittsburgh, May 1993.


Reintroduction of captive-born animals.  Annual Meeting of the Society of Conservation Biology; Phoenix, June 1993.


Reintroduction of captive-born animals.  First Workshop on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Mammal Reintroduction; Vancouver, March 1994.


Reintroduction of captive-bred animals.  Scientists Center for Animal Welfare Conference on The Well-being of Animals in Zoo and Aquarium Sponsored Research; New Orleans, May 1995.


The effects of foraging adaptations and substrate characteristics on the locomotion of golden lion tamarins.  Annual Meeting of the American Society of Primatologists; Scottsdale, AZ, June 1995. (third author with B.J. Stafford and A.L. Rosenberger).


The golden lion tamarin conservation program as a model integrating in situ and ex situ conservation.  Annual Meeting of the American Society of Primatologists; Scottsdale,

AZ, June 1995. (fourth author with D.G. Kleiman, A.J. Baker, J. Ballou. J.L. Camargo, J.M. Dietz, C. Kierulff, A. Martins, D. Rambaldi).


The effect of pre-release environment on survivorship of reintroduced golden lion tamarins.  Annual Meeting of the Animal Behavior Society; College Park, MD, June 1996


Cognitive Aspects of Reintroduction of Golden Lion Tamarins in Brazil (Keynote Address).  Annual Meeting of the American Society of Primatologists; Georgetown, TX, June 1998.


Behavioural deficiencies in re-introduced golden lion tamarins; clues to the effects of successful adaptation to the zoo environment (Plenary Address).  Second International Symposium on Physiology and Ethology of Wild and Zoo Animals; Berlin, Germany, October 1998.


Exames parasitologicos de mico leao dourado Leontopithecus rosalia e mico estrela Callithrix jacchus, em vide livre, como indicadores de qualidade do habitat.  IX Congresso Brasileiro de Primatologia, Goiana, July, 1999.  (Fifth author with Carlos Eduardo S. Verona, Marcia Chame, Carlos Ruiz-Miranda, James Dietz).


Behavior differences between the first and second-generation descendents of captive-born, reintroduced golden lion tamarins. Annual Meeting of the Animal Behavior Society, Atlanta, Georgia, June, 2000. (Second author with Stoinski, T.S., Bloomsmith, M.A., & Maple, T.L.)


Behavioral differences between captive-born golden lion tamarins and their wild-born offspring. Annual Meeting of the International Society of Primatologists, Adelaide, Australia, January, 2001. (Second author with Stoinski, T.S.)


The science of reintroduction. Annual meeting of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, Columbus, Ohio, September 2003. (First author with D.G. Kleiman).


IUCN guidelines and ape reintroduction. CBSG African Primate Reintroduction Workshop, Apenheul, Netherlands, April, 2006.


Reintroduction of golden lion tamarins: Implications for African apes. XXI International Congress of Primatology, Entebbe, Uganda, June 2006. (First author with D.M. Rambaldi).


Behavioral differences between captive-born reintroduced golden lion tamarins and their wild-born offspring. XXI International Congress of Primatology, Entebbe, Uganda, June 2006. (Second author with T. Stoinski).


Guidelines and great ape reintroduction. Annual meeting of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Orlando, Florida, September 2006.


Evaluation of reintroduction programs. Lincoln Park Zoo, US Fish and Wildlife Reintroduction and Translocation Workshop, Chicago, Illinois, January 2007.


Ape orphans: welfare, conservation, and ethics. Lincoln Park Zoo; Mind of the Chimpanzee Workshop, Chicago, Illinois, March 2007.




American University, Apenheul Zoo, Appalachian State University, Barat College, Brandywine Zoo, Chicago Academy of Science, Chicago Anthropological Society, Chicago State University Chicago Zoological Society, College of DuPage, College of William and Mary, Drake University, Eastern Illinois University, Eden Project, Elmhurst College, Florida International University, Frankfurt Zoological Society, George Mason University, Hood College, Iowa State University, Kennicott Club, Kirkwood Community College, Lincoln Park Zoo, Minnesota Zoological Garden, National Aquarium (Baltimore), National Parks Foundation, National Wildlife Rehabilitators’ Association, National Museum of Natural History, National Zoological Park, North Central College, Northern Illinois University, Northwestern University, Philadelphia Zoological Society, Phoenix  Zoological Society, Portland Zoological Society, Queen Elizabeth 2, Rockefeller University, Salisbury University, Santa Barbara Zoo, Smithsonian Institution Campus on the Mall, Smithsonian Institution Voices on Capitol Hill, Topeka Zoo, University of Chicago, University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana), University of Illinois (Chicago Circle), University of Maryland (Baltimore County), University of Maryland (College Park), University of Maryland (Eastern Shore), University of Tennessee, University of Wisconsin (Madison), University of Wisconsin (Milwaukee), University of Wisconsin (Stevens Point), University of Wyoming, Wayne State University, Western Michigan University (visiting scholar), Wichita Zoo, Willowbrook Wildlife Refuge, Wildlife Conservation Institute (New York Zoological Society), Wildlife Preservation Trust International, Woodland Park Zoo, Wright Junior College, Zoo Atlanta.




American Philosophical Society

The Center for Field Research

The Digit Fund

The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation

John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation

L.S.B. Leakey Foundation

National Geographic Society

National Institute of Child Health & Human Development

National Institute of Mental Health

National Museum Act

National Science Foundation

Nixon Griffis Fund

Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Fund

Scientific & Educational Advisory Committee of the Chicago Zoological Society

Wemmer-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research

Wildlife Preservation Trust International

American Journal of Primatology

Animal Behaviour

Animal Learning and Brain Sciences

The Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Conservation Biology

Developmental Psychobiology


Garland STPM Press


International Journal of Primatology

Journal of Comparative Psychology

Journal of Mammalogy

National Wildlife Magazine

San Diego Zoological Society


University of Chicago Press

Zoo Biology




Mechanisms of Animal Behavior, by P.R. Marler and W.J. Hamilton, III. Psychology Today, 1967, 1:14-15.

Primate Societies, by H. Kummer.  Evolution, 1972, 26:484-485.


Behavior of Captive wild Animals, by H. Markowitz and V. Stevens. BioScience, 1979, 29:622.


Gorillas, by K.McDearman. The Quarterly Review of Biology, 1979, 54:441.


Orang-utan Behavior, by T. Maple.  The Quarterly Review of Biology. 1981, 56:361.


Beach Troop of Gombe, by T. Ransom.  American Journal of Primatology, 1982, 2:233-234.


Animal Re-Introductions: the Arabian Oryx in Oman, by Mark Stanley Price.  Species, 1991, 16: 33-34.


The Use of Tools by Human and Non-Human Primates, by Arlette Berthelet and Jean Chavaillon.  American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 1994, 94(4): 574-576.


Intelligence of Apes and Other Rational Beings, by Duane M. Rumbaugh and David A. Washburn. International Journal of Primatology, in press.




Coordinator of an initiative between the Great Ape Trust of Iowa and Republic of Rwanda to establish a National Conservation Park in the Gishwati Forest, 2007 to 2011.


Member of Board, Save the Golden Lion Tamarin, 2006 to present. (Treasurer 2006-2012).


Member of Board, Associação Mico-Leão Dourado (Vice President 2006 to 2009).


Member, International Committee on Conservation and Management of Lion Tamarins; Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Natureis (IBAMA), 2004 to 2012.


Alumni Professional Achievement Citation, University of Chicago, June, 2003.


Senior Research Scientist, Department of Biology, University of Maryland, 2003 to 2008.


Coordinator of Reintroduction; Golden Lion Tamarin Conservation Project; 1983 to 2006. (Co-author of annual reports,1990 to present; raised $1,200,000 in grant support).


Coordinator, Smithsonian National Zoological Park’s Giant Panda Research and Professional Training Program; 2000 to 2003.


Co-leader of negotiating team for Giant Panda Research and Loan Agreement between China Wildlife Conservation Association and Smithsonian National Zoological Park; 1998 to 2000.


Co-Organizer; Workshop “Humans and Great Apes at an Ethical Frontier”; Orlando, FL, June 1998.


Co-Chair; American Zoo and Aquarium Association Ape Taxon Advisory Group; 1998 to 2001.


Adjunct Professor of Biology, George Mason University; 1996 to 2001 (taught graduate seminar in “Plant and Animal Reintroductions”, Autumn, 1999).


Member, Re-introduction Specialist Group (Deputy Chair from 1994 to 1998), Conservation Breeding Specialist Group and Primate Specialist Group, Species Survival Commission, International Union for Conservation of Nature; 1988 to present.


Member, Executive Committee, Section of Great Apes, Primate Specialist Group; 2009 to 2014.


Chair, Reintroduction Advisory Group, American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums; 1991 to 2003.


Project Executive, "Think Tank" ($4M exhibit on animal cognition) National Zoological Park, Smithsonian Institution, 1991-1995.


Scientific Advisory Board; Kariosoke Research Centre, Dian Fossey (Digit) Gorilla Fund; March 1986 to 2001.


Faculty, American Zoo and Aquarium Association Conservation Academy, Science of Zoo and Aquarium Management; 1994.


Conservation Committee; American Society of Primatologists; July 1986 to July 1988.


Ecotourism; Tour Leader for trip to Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya (1986), Uganda (1995), and South Africa and Brazil aboard Queen Elizabeth 2 (1995).


Modern Management and Supervision, Part I; United States Department of Agriculture Graduate School; July 1984.


Chair, Drafting Committee for the Smithsonian Institution's "Policy on the Use of Animals in Research", 1992-93.


Member, Research Policy Committee, Smithsonian Institution; 1986 to 1993.


Chair, Environmental Sciences Fellowship Committee, Smithsonian Institution, 1986 to 1996.


First Aid for Scientists Working in Medically Remote Areas; Smithsonian Institution; May 1985.


Member (elected); Propagation Group of AZA Orangutan Species Survival Plan; 1984 to 1998.


Scientific Advisor to Propagation Group of AZA Gorilla Species Survival Plan; 1983 to 1988; Member (elected); 1988 to 1998.


Member; Animal Care Committee of Animal Behavior Society; 1983 to 1988.

Editorial Consultant; Noyes Publications; 1982 to 1993.

Consulting Editor, Zoo Biology; 1982 to 2000.


Member; Ad Hoc Task Force; National Chimpanzee Breeding Program; National Institutes of Health; 1980 to 1986.


Associate, The Behavioral and Brain Sciences; 1983 to 1986.


Research Associate; Department of Anthropology; University of Chicago; 1973-83.

Member (elected); Golden Lion Tamarin Management Committee; 1981-82.

Editorial Board; Animal Welfare; 1980-82.


Co-Organizer; Workshop on Infertility in Male Great Apes; Atlanta, Georgia; November 1980, and of Second Workshop in June 1989.


Secretary (elected); Animal Behavior Society; 1975-77.


Field Study in Cape Cod, Massachusetts; Shell dropping by seagulls; Fall 1975.


Field Study in Uganda, Rwanda, Zaire, Kenya, and Tanzania; Primate Associations and Habitats; Fall 1971.


Field Study in Arizona; Behavior of Sonoran Desert Fauna; Winter, 1969.


Field Study in Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Japan; Primate Behavior; Summer 1966.


Noyes Fellowship; University of Chicago; 1962-67.


Research Assistant; University of Chicago; Imprinting, pupillary response; 1963-67.


Teaching Assistant; Boston University; Experimental Psychology; 1962-63.


New York State Regents College Scholarship; Union College; 1957 -62.




American Society of Primatologists

International Primatological Society




German, Portuguese (competent, not fluent).


         May 2017



Please note that this work is protected under copyright status. However, use of this research, data table, and charts are allowed as long as proper citations and credits are attributed to this author, Dr. Benjamin B. Beck.


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