Skip to content

Jenny Tung


  • Fellow
  • Child & Brain Development




Jenny Tung is an Associate Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology and Biology at Duke University and an affiliate of the Duke Population Research Institute.

Jenny joined the Duke faculty in 2012 after completing her post-doctoral training in the University of Chicago Department of Human Genetics and her PhD training in the Duke Biology department. Research in the Tung lab focuses on the intersection between behavior, social structure, and genes. The lab is particularly interested in how social environmental variables of known biodemographic importance, such as social status and social connectedness, feed back to influence gene regulation and population genetic structure. They primarily ask these questions in nonhuman primates, which are natural models for human social behavior and physiology. Currently, most of their work centers on a longitudinally studied population of wild baboons in Kenya (Tung co-directs the Amboseli Baboon Research Project) and captive rhesus macaques at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center. They also recently extended their research to other social mammals, including wild meerkats and captive Damaraland mole rats in the Kalahari Desert of South Africa.


  • MacArthur Fellow, 2019
  • Named as one of Science News SN10: Scientists to Watch, 2018
  • Sloan Research Fellow, 2016
  • Kavli Fellow, 2015
  • University of Chicago, Chicago Fellows Post-doctoral Fellowship, 2010

Relevant Publications

  • Sanz, J., Maurizio, P.L., Snyder-Mackler, N., Simons, N.D., Voyles, T.P., Kohn, J., Michopoulos, V., Wilson, M.E., Tung, J.*, and Barreiro, L.B.*. Social history and exposure to pathogen signals modulate social status effects on gene regulation in rhesus macaques. In press (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA). bioRxiv:
  • Zipple, M.N., Archie, E.A., Tung, J., Altmann, J., and Alberts, S.C. 2019. Intergenerational effects of early adversity on survival in wild baboons. eLife 8: e47433.
  • Snyder-Mackler, N., Sanz, J., Kohn, J.N., Brinkworth, J.F., Morrow, S., Shaver, A.O., Grenier, J., Pique-Regi, R., Johnson, Z.P., Wilson, M.E., Barreiro, L.B.*, Tung, J.*. 2016. Social status alters immune regulation and response to infection in macaques. Science 354: 1041-1045.
  • Tung, J.*, Archie, E.A.*, Altmann, J., and Alberts, S.C. 2016. Cumulative early adversity predicts longevity in wild baboons. Nature Communications 7: 11181.
  • Lea, A.J., Altmann, J., Alberts, S.C., and Tung, J. 2015. Developmental constraints in a wild primate. American Naturalist 185: 809-821.

Support Us

CIFAR is a registered charitable organization supported by the governments of Canada, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec as well as foundations, individuals, corporations, and international partner organizations.

MaRS Centre, West Tower
661 University Ave., Suite 505
Toronto, ON M5G 1M1 Canada