Assistant Professor of Biological Anthropology
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
College of Arts and Sciences
An evolutionary anthropologist and primatologist, Dr. Sherrow has spent over 15 years conducting field research both in the United States and abroad, studying everything from grizzly bears to Javan gibbons to cheetahs to baboons.
For the past decade he has focused his efforts on studying chimpanzees in the wild, learning about humanity's closest living relatives - as well as ourselves and our origins.
Though he has spent time studying chimpanzees in Tanzania and various parts of Uganda, the majority of his research has focused on protected chimpanzee communities in Kibale National Park in western Uganda.
As part of a larger research team, Sherrow has habituated and studied the largest chimpanzee population in the world, Ngogo, and has made significant discoveries about their behavior along the way, telling us not only more about the chimpanzees, but also about ourselves and our own evolutionary past.
It has been well documented that male chimpanzees are territorially aggressive and will attack and kill chimpanzees from other communities.
Sherrow observed several of these attacks and found that males take part in them progressively more as they mature, and that they have to learn the skills involved in territorial defense.
"In addition to revealing more about chimpanzee behavior, these findings impact the way we think about human behavior, evolution and modern society," he says.
Sherrow has established the Hominid Behavior Research Project (HBRP), which synthesizes data on human and chimpanzee behavior with data on fossil hominins to model the behavior of our earliest hominin ancestors. His goal is to develop a comprehensive understanding of the evolution of human behavior by comparing the behaviors of humans with our closest living relatives. His research is already beginning to bear fruit.
"Because chimpanzees and humans share a common ancestry, comparing and contrasting our behavior helps define what makes us human," Sherrow points out.
Sherrow's Media Placements include:
Areas of Expertise