Amy Parish

Amy Parish, Board Member

Dr. Amy Parish is an interdisciplinary scholar who teaches at University of Southern California. Dr. Parish has studied the world’s captive population of bonobos for the last twenty-eight years. She found that the social system of the bonobo is unusual in many respects: females form real and meaningful bonds in the absence of kinship and females attack and dominate males. She was the first to characterize bonobo society as a matriarchy. She is currently interested in female mate choice decisions in humans. In all of her research, Dr. Parish uses an evolutionary, bio-cultural, feminist, and interdisciplinary approach to shed light on the origins of human behavior. The renowned anthropologist Sarah Hrdy and the renowned psychologist Frans de Waal jointly supervised her PhD work. In 2008, she received a Mellon Award for excellence in faculty mentoring of undergraduate students. Her work has been featured in Ms. Magazine and she has appeared on Nova, National Geographic Explorer, NPR, and Discovery Health Channel productions. She gives numerous public lectures including: keynote addresses at the Adelaide Festival of Ideas; speaking in the “First Fridays” series at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles; keynote addresses at the "Women in Science: Molecules to Ecosystems" conference at Indiana State University and the "Science of Gender" conference at Lewis and Clark; and lectures in the SALT (Studies in Arts, Literature and Theology) series at Univ. of Uppsala, Sweden. She is a frequent interlocutor in the Aloud series (“where Los Angeles engages with today’s top writers, thinkers, and performers to listen, learn, and exchange ideas”) at the LA Library. She is a fellow of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities.