Marni LaFleur

Marni LaFleur
Phone: (619) 260-2905
Office: Saints Tekakwitha & Serra Hall 218C

Assistant Professor

  • PhD University of Colorado Boulder
Marni LaFleur [she/her/hers], PhD, joined USD faculty in 2018. Her primary teaching responsibilities include Introduction to Biological Anthropology, and classes in primate behavior, ecology, and conservation. Her research focuses on the evolution of female dominance in lemurs, in addition to the trafficking of endangered species and how social media impacts the demand for wildlife extraction. Dr. LaFleur is a USD Rainbow Educator, an advocate for inclusion, and works to support Malagasy (particularly women's') career and small-scale development goals. 

Areas of Expertise

biological anthropology, primatology, lemur behavioral ecology, primate nutrition, evolution, climate change, Madagascar

Scholarly Work

Dr. LaFleur conducts long-term research at a remote forest field site in southwestern Madagascar (Tsimanampesotse National Park). She aims to understand the metabolic differentiation in male and female ring-tailed lemurs and how this relates to the selection of female social dominance in monomorphic species. Additionally, she studies how the climate crisis and extreme weather patterns influence lemur reproduction, ranging, nutrition, and the wellbeing. 

Areas of Interest

Professor LaFleur encourages students to cultivate empathy, understand (and celebrate) diversity, and to view the world through the lenses of others. She is enthusiastic about experiential learning and incorporates observations of the vast collection of non-human primates present at the San Diego Zoo into course work. Moreover, she values rigor, the scientific process, and students who are keen, hard working, and demonstrate extraordinary dedication to their own advancement.  Additionally, in future, Professor LaFleur envisions taking a select few, promising undergraduate students on annual expeditions in Madagascar.