Graduate Assistants/Graduate Students

Sylvia Orellana

B.A. Anthropology, 2012 - Northeastern Illinois University

M.A. Anthropology, 2014 - Northern Illinois University

Academic Biography:

Q. Where is your study area located? South America

Q. What is your focus of research? Primate Behavioral Ecology and Conservation. I am more specifically interested in exploring the roll of alloparenting in primate survivorship rates as well as primate agression and conciliatory behavior.

Q. Why did you choose NIU? I chose NIU because I am impressed by the faculty contributions to the field of anthropology. The department also provides a number of fieldwork opportunities to undergrads which is indicative of a strong program focused on the development of it's students. 

Q. What advice would you like to share with incoming students? Take advantage of as many opportunities to get out in the field as you possibly can. Participate in projects that will take you outside of the classroom. Fieldwork will allow you to further build upon those skills and knowledge that have been developed by your coursework. I did this as an undergrad and have met many wonderful people that have helped to enrich my educational foundation and stroke my curiosity.

Research Projects:

  • 2011-2012: Chronic Pain and Biomedicine: The Struggle to Assert Agency and Identity - Principal Investigator
  • 2011-2012: Department of Zoology Mammals Preparation Laboratory at the Field Museum - Intern
  • November 2011:; Cemetery relocation project in north - central Illinois
  • June 2011: Chimpanzee energetics and metabolism study - Observational data collection
  • August 2010: Gorilla energeticis and metabolism study - Observational data collection