Lydia Light

Lydia Light

Assistant Professor
Barnard 215

PROFILE: Dr. Lydia Light is aan assistant professor of Anthropology at UNC Charlotte, teaching courses in general anthropology and biological anthropology with specific interests in primatology, conservation, and human evolution. Her research interests focus on the behavioral ecology of living primates, examining the ecological and biological factors that may have influenced life in our own deep evolutionary past. She is interested in exploring ecological explanations for within-species behavioral and dietary variation as well as the evolution of pair-bonds and pair-living social systems. For her dissertation, Dr. Light combined behavioral data collection techniques with remote sensing and GIS methods to examine how gibbons, small endangered apes living in Southeast Asia, cope with challenging ecological conditions through modifications in ranging behavior, diet, and social behavior. Earlier work has examined nutritional stress during pregnancy and lactation and mother-infant interactions in captive baboons.

Light Curriculum Vitae


  • PhD, University of Texas at San Antonio – Department of Anthropology, 2016
  • MA, University of Texas at San Antonio – Department of Anthropology, 2011
  • BA, University of Miami – Department of Cinema and Interactive Media, 2001


  • Introduction to Anthropology
  • Principles of Biological Anthropology & Lab
  • Primate Behavioral Ecology
  • Primate Conservation
  • Field Biology of the Primates
  • Neanderthals & Us
  • Climate Change & Human Health
  • Human-Animal Disease Transfer
  • Graduate Seminar in Evolutionary and Biological Anthropology


  • Primate Behavioral Ecology
  • Spatial Ecology
  • GIS and Remote Sensing
  • Primate Conservation
  • Biological Anthropology
  • Human Evolution
  • Biocultural Anthropology


  • The University of Texas at San Antonio University Life Awards, Most Outstanding Graduate Student in the College of Liberal and Fine Arts, 2016
  • American Association of University Women, American Dissertation Fellowship, 2015-2016
  • The University of Texas at San Antonio Ready, Set, Research! Competition, First Place Doctoral Students, 2015
  • National Science Foundation, Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, 2012-2013
  • Fulbright Foundation, US Department of State, Institute of International Education, U.S. Student Program Fellowship, 2011-2012
  • American Society of Primatologists, Small Research Grant, 2011
  • University of Texas at San Antonio, COLFA Malú and Carlos Alvarez Graduate Research Fellowship, 2010-2011


  • Butaric LN, Light LEO, Juengst SL. 2017 A Call for Action: Why Anthropologists Can (and Should) Join the Discussion on Climate Change through Education. American Journal of Human Biology.
  • Bartlett TQ, Light LEO, Brockelman WY. 2015 Long-Term Home Range Stability In Wild White-Handed Gibbons in Khao Yai National Park, Thailand. American Journal of Primatology. 78(2):192-203.

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