Isabel Behncke

PhD., Primatology

Isabel Behncke is a behavioral and evolutionary scientist who works on animal behavior and their interactions with nature. She is originally from Chile and enjoys the active iteration between fieldwork and theory. Dr. Behncke has an MSc from the University College London in Conservation Biology, MPhil from Cambridge University in Human Evolution, and a Ph.D. from Oxford University in Evolutionary Anthropology.

After walking 3000+ km in the jungles of Congo observing the social behavior of bonobo apes—Pan paniscus, together with chimpanzees our closest living relatives—, for her PhD field research, Dr. Behncke now applies an evolutionary lens to applied questions on human social behavior: Why do we go to festivals? Why does trust require risk taking? Why would adult primates play – what role does this expensive behavior have in social bonds, creativity, and health? Why is it that the more digital technologies we get, the more understanding of evolution we need? Isabel also works in biodiversity conservation in Chile, and serves as a member of the science, technology, knowledge and innovation council for the Chilean President.

For more information about Dr. Behncke and her work you can find her on Wikipedia