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Photo of Suzanne MacDonald SUZANNE MACDONALD

Suzanne MacDonald is an Associate Dean at York University, but when she is not "dean-ing," she is a psychology professor. Suzanne completed her Ph.D. work at the University of Alberta, then did postdoctoral work at the University of British Columbia. When completing her postdoctoral work, she began doing research at the Stanley Park Zoo with their primates. When she moved to York University in 1990 to become a professor, she began her research program at the Metro Toronto Zoo.

Suzanne's research centers on memory and cognition in primates. In addition, she volunteers as the Zoo's "Behaviorist," which means that she helps to ensure that all the animals at the Zoo are well adjusted to captivity and behaving "naturally." She finds one of the most interesting aspects of being a Behaviorist is the opportunity to meet and learn about all sorts of species, ranging from black-footed ferrets to cheetahs to elephants. "There is never a dull moment!" Suzanne reports. "I find it rewarding to be able to really change the lives of the animals, often by making very simple changes. And sharing the joys of research with my students -- and everyone else -- is great, too!"

See Suzanne MacDonald's answers to Ask the Scientists questions.


Scientific American Frontiers
Fall 1990 to Spring 2000
Sponsored by GTE Corporation,
now a part of Verizon Communications Inc.