Dr. Cortés Ortiz received her Ph.D. from the University of East Anglia in 2003; her dissertation was focused on the evolution of howler monkeys. Part of her dissertation research was conducted at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. In 1998, she received a master's degree in Neuroethology from the Universidad Veracruzana, in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico, with a dissertation on the mating behavior and social system of howler monkeys. She received her bachelor's degree in biology from the Universidad Veracruzana in 1992. She joined the faculty of Universidad Veracruzana, as a permanent research professor at the Tropical Research Center (2003-2005). At the University of Michigan, she was an assistant research scientist from 2004-2013 and is currently a research associate professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.
Dr. Cortés Ortiz's research interests include the evolution and systematics of Neotropical primates. Her work has been focused on phylogenetics and phylogeography of howler monkeys (genus Alouatta), as well as other Neotropical primates. She is also working on the characterization of a hybrid zone between A. palliata and A. pigra, sister species that diverged approximately 3 million years ago and are currently hybridizing in southeast Mexico. Additionally, she uses molecular tools to understand patterns of primate behavior and to establish a basis for primate conservation.
- Primate evolution, phylogenetics and speciation
Field(s) of Study
- Evolution of neotropical primates
- Susanna Campbell, Molly Choi, Adrian Melo Carillo, Marcella Nidiffer, Xorla Ocloo, Andrea Benavides Castaño, Ashley Schuler, Brenda Hernandez, Kaori Chambers