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About me

Dr. Laura Simone Lewis

I am fascinated by the evolution of great ape social cognition and passionate about creating a scientific world that is more diverse, equitable, just, and kind.


I graduated from Duke University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Evolutionary Anthropology, and received my PhD from Harvard University in the department of Human Evolutionary Biology in 2022. I was awarded the UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship to conduct research at UC Berkeley in the

Department of Psychology.


I was born and raised in Berkeley, my beloved hometown and an incredibly diverse, progressive, and ecologically rich environment that served as the foundation for my journey as a scientist. My obsession with animals began before I could talk, as I picked up the bugs, slugs, snakes, and mice I found in my backyard and befriended our pet baby goat named “The Kid”. I became enthralled with primates in my first semester of college, where I had the immense opportunity to study ring-tailed lemurs at the Duke Lemur Center (the home of the famous lemur Zoboomafoo). At Duke I also studied mouse lemurs, aye-ayes, dogs, and finally chimpanzees. As soon as I looked closely into the eyes of the chimps I was working with, I was hooked.


I immediately became passionate about exploring how great apes, including ourselves, have evolved to perceive, understand, and respond to our rich social environments. 


Besides hanging out with great apes, I love swimming in the ocean, making pottery, cooking delicious food, and backpacking in the mountains of California.

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