Corinna Most

Courtesy Appointment


Dept:Ecology Evolution & Organismal Biol
Office:251 Bessey
2200 Osborn Dr.
Ames IA

Area of expertise: comparative development, Primate behavior and ecology, social behavior

Topics of interest: Animal Behavior, Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy, Primate Behavior Ecology, Primate Behavior Evolution


Dr. Most is a faculty member in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology (EEOB) and she holds a courtesy appointment in WLC. She is broadly interested in the origins, evolution, and development of social cognition, and her approach is interdisciplinary, combining theories and methods from anthropology, developmental and comparative psychology, and cognitive sciences. Ultimately, Dr. Most’s research provides insights into how our social nature, one of the defining traits of our species and indeed our order, arises both phylogenetically and ontogenetically.

Dr. Most is the co-Director of the Uaso Ngiro Baboon Project (UNBP), in Kenya, where she studies the development of social competence in wild olive baboons (Papio anubis) and the long-term effects of ecological changes on the baboons’ behavior and reproductive parameters. She also oversees student research on the primates housed at Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines. As Coordinator for the ISU Learning Community “Sky is the Limit”, Dr. Most combines research with practice in investigating effective strategies for mentoring and teaching first- and second-year students with broad interests in the Life Sciences.

There are always opportunities to obtain research experience in Dr. Most’s lab, digitizing and analyzing long-term data from the UNBP and/or collecting behavioral data on the primates at Blank Park Zoo. Students in her lab also participate in the Primate Interest Club (PIC) reading group, which meets once a month.

Grants and Awards

  • 2023 - NSF International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) Track I: “Research opportunities in the behavior and ecology of wild olive baboons (P. anubis) at the Uaso Ngiro Baboon Project, Kenya” []

  • 2023 - Wild Animal Initiative (WAI) Animal Welfare Grant, “Assessing the welfare of wild olive baboons (Papio anubis) at the Uaso Ngiro Baboon Project, Laikipia, Kenya” (co-PI with Dr. Monica Wakefield, Northern Kentucky University).

  • 2023 - Animal Behavior Society (ABS) Outreach Grant

  • 2022 - ISU Miller Faculty Fellowship Award, “Promoting student well-being and self-efficacy through peer support networks”

  • 2020 - ISU Miller Mini-Grant to develop Open Access Resources for Comparative Chordate Anatomy (BIOL351) []

Recent / Major Publications

Most, C.A. & Strum, S.C. (2020) “Bringing up baby: Maternal responsiveness, secondary attachments, and the development of infant social competence in wild olive baboons (Papio anubis),” in Psychobiological Development in Primates (joint issue of Developmental Psychobiology and American Journal of Primatology). []