Top of page
Skip to main content
Main content

Dan CoppetoVisiting Assistant Professor


  • PhD, Anthropology, Emory University, 2020
  • B.A., Anthropology & Psychology, New York University, 2008


I have always been interested in the evolution of human behavior. In particular, I wanted to understand the evolution of both primate social cognition, and its underlying neurobiological substrate.

I was given the opportunity to explore primate behavior as a field researcher in Ecuador, studying the local Titi and Saki monkeys for the Tiputini Biodiversity Station. Following this, I began the doctorate program at Emory University in order to better realize my goals of studying human neurobiological and behavioral evolution. Through this PhD program, I studied the behavior, hormones (especially the neurohormones oxytocin and arginine vasopressin), and brains of varying baboon subspecies.


  • Primatology
  • Brain evolution
  • Social neuroendocrinology
  • Primate social organization
  • Comparative neurobiology
  • Aggression & Competition

I am primarily interested in the proximate neurobiological and endocrinological mechanisms of primate sociality. Specifically, the majority of my research has focused on the way in which these proximate mechanisms influence the highly variable social structures, mating relationships, and social lives of the baboon subspecies. In terms of proximate mechanisms, I am particularly interested in the roles that the neurohormones oxytocin and arginine vasopressin (and their interactions within the brain) play in observed differences in primate sociality. I hope to expand this research by not only looking at different hormones (particularly the endogenous opioids), but also to look more closely at the connection between specific social behaviors and hormone concentration variability.