Zarin Machanda

Zarin Machanda

Braker Hall
Research/Areas of Interest:

wild chimpanzee health and behavior, primate conservation, evolution of leadership


  • PhD Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, United States, 2009
  • MA Anthropology, Harvard University, Cambridge, United States
  • BSc Biology & Anthropology, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, 2002


Zarin Machanda's research revolves around understanding the factors that shape the quality and development of social relationships among wild chimpanzees. Her work so far has focused mostly on the evolution of male-female relationships, male-male cooperation (especially cooperative hunting), and how chimpanzees use communication to mediate social relationships. Most recently, she has started a long-term project to study infant and juvenile chimpanzees and how they develop sex-typed adult behaviors. Zarin is the Director of Long-term Research at the Kibale Chimpanzee Project, an organization that for the last 30 years has conserved and protected the Kanyawara community of chimpanzees living in Kibale National Park, Uganda. She is also on the Board of the Kasiisi Project, a community development organization in Uganda that works with over 9000 school children living around Kibale National Park. Zarin holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Biology.