H. Dieter Steklis, earned his Ph.D. in Anthropology in 1974 from the University of California, Berkeley. He joined Rutgers University in 1974, serving as Professor of Anthropology until “retiring” in 2004 as Professor Emeritus of Primatology. Over the course of his scientific career, Steklis’ teaching, research and publications reflect multidisciplinary interests, including primate neurobiology and psychology, primate behavioral biology, primate conservation, and the evolution of human behavior.
Dieter joined the University of Arizona (South Campus) in 2005, where presently he serves as Professor and Program Director for Anthropology, with affiliated appointments on main campus as Professor of Psychology, Program in Ethology and Evolutionary Psychology, and Adjunct Professor of Family Studies and Human Development. His present research—done collaboratively with his primatologist wife Netzin G. Steklis— includes the comparative study of primate family systems, with a particular focus on mountain gorilla paternal behavior, mountain gorilla personality and life history, the nature of human-animal relationships, the evolution of human empathy, conscious awareness, and emotional regulation. Each July, Dieter and Netzin Steklis co-lead the Primate Studies Field School in Rwanda, Africa.
In addition to his academic career, Steklis held leadership positions with the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund Internationala non profit organization dedicated to gorilla research and conservation in Africa.