Gideon Erkenswick | Field Projects International

Gideon Erkenswick

Loves parasites, rainforests, research, and field work.


Gideon’s curiosity for ecology began from the unusual vantage point of a sociology major while at Grinnell College.  Years later, his interests in the social, physiological, and environmental factors that structure the natural history of humans gradually extended to wildlife.  In 2009, he founded PrimatesPeru (and subsequently FPI) along with Mini Watsa.   Between 2011 and 2017 he completed a doctorate in biology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) with an emphasis on ecology, evolution and systematics.  When not in the field or at his university, you could see him on a bicycle tour, playing soccer, or cleaning up after his many animals.

Selection of active research:

  • Parasite-host and parasite-parasite relationships in a free-ranging community of nonhuman primates in southeastern Peru (Dissertation)
  • Natural origins of Tuberculosis and Leprosy: A comparative study of mycobacteria among modern day humans, ancient human populations, and wild animal populations in South America.
  • Interspecific vocal divergence and sexual signals in sympatric tamarins
  • Extent of genetic chimerism present in wild populations of Callitrichids
  • How variation in color vision affects visual and olfactory foraging strategies in New World Monkeys
Campus Address
Department of Biology University of Missouri-St. Louis 223 Research Building One University Boulevard St. Louis, MO 63121-4499
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Courses Taught

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