Krista Milich

Assistant Professor of Biological Anthropology
PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
research interests:
  • Reproductive Physiology
  • Sexual Selection
  • Nonhuman Primates
  • Reproductive Ecology
  • Behavioral Endocrinology
  • Zoonotic Disease
  • Community Conservation
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    contact info:

    mailing address:

    • Washington University
    • CB 1114
    • One Brookings Drive
    • St. Louis, MO 63130
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    Krista Milich is a primate behavioral ecologist and socioendocrinologist with a particular interest in reproductive physiology and sexual selection.

    Her work aims to not only understand the proximate and ultimate mechanisms associated with the evolution of primate social systems, but also to use that knowledge to inform primate conservation efforts. She is currently conducting projects in Africa and South America.  Her primary field site is Kibale National Park, Uganda, where she has a long-term project on red colobus monkeys. She also collaborates with local colleagues in Uganda on a community conservation project to reduce human-wildlife conflict.  Her current work also includes studying Zika virus in primates in the Americas, social networks and the gut microbiome, and hormonal correlates of male spider monkeys and woolly monkeys in the Amazon. 

    She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with her dissertation titled “The impact of habitat quality on female red colobus (Procolobus rufomitratus) reproduction in Kibale National Park, Uganda”.  After graduating, she became a postdoc in the Institute for Mind and Biology at the University of Chicago studying behavioral and physiological variation among high-ranking male rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) on Cayo Santiago, Puerto Rico. In a subsequent postdoc in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin, she expanded her laboratory skills to include genetics work and began studying spider monkeys and woolly monkeys at Tiputini Biodiversity Station, Ecuador.  Through her field work and laboratory analyses, she takes a comparative approach to understanding primate behavioral ecology.


    Recent Courses

    Anthropology 3660: Primate Ecology, Biology, & Behavior

      Anthropology 3661: Primate Biology

        Anthropology 406: Primate Ecology and Social Structure

          Anthropology 434: Behavioral Research at the St. Louis Zoo

            Selected Publications

            2018  Milich K.M., Koestler BJ, Simmons JH, Nehete PN, Di Fiore A, et al. Methods for detecting Zika virus in feces: A case study in captive squirrel monkeys (Saimiri boliviensis boliviensis). PLOS ONE 13(12): e0209391. 

            2018 Link, A., Milich K.M., and Di Fiore, A. Demography and life history in wild white-bellied spider monkeys (Ateles belzebuth) in western Amazonia. American Journal of Primatology 80: e22899.

            2018 Milich K.M., Georgiev A.V., Petersen, R.M., Emery Thompson M., and Maestripieri D. Mating effort is associated with high glucocorticoid concentrations in high-ranking male rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). Hormones and Behavior 97: 5-13.

            2016 Milich K.M. and Maestripieri D. Sex or Power? The function of male displays in rhesus macaques. Behaviour 153: 245-261.

            2014 Milich K.M., Stumpf R.M., Chambers J.M., and Chapman, C.A. Female red colobus monkeys maintain an ideal free distribution through novel foraging strategies in logged forests. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 154: 52-60.

            2014 Milich K.M., Bahr, J.M., Stumpf R.M., and Chapman, C.A. Timing is everything: expanding the cost-of-sexual-attraction hypothesis. Animal Behaviour 88: 219-224.