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Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, UMass Amherst

Laurie Godfrey is a biological anthropologist with a doctoral degree from Harvard University (1977). She is a Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Godfrey’s research focus is on the form and function of skeletons of primates, with an emphasis on the recently extinct lemurs of Madagascar. One important goal of her work is to reconstruct the behavior and lifeways extinct primates; another is to understand how humans have affected nonhuman primates in their natural habitats – their endangerment and extinction. Madagascar is an ideal place to conduct such research, and Godfrey has been conducting paleontological fieldwork in Madagascar since the 1980s, with support from the National Science Foundation and other organizations. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and former lecturer for the Sigma Xi College of Distinguished Lecturers. She is also a recipient of a number of honors, including a University of Massachusetts Distinguished Teaching Award; a Guggenheim Fellowship; National Science Foundation Visiting Professorship for Women in Science; Humanist Contributions to Science Award, American Humanist Association; University of Massachusetts Presidential Writers' Award, Boston; and Mary Ingraham Bunting Institute Science Scholarship, Radcliffe College.


  • –present
    Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, University of Massachusetts Amherst