PBS docuseries on animal adaptation features TXST professor


Lane Fortenberry | September 6, 2023

An adult chimpanzee looking after a young chimpanzee in a forest.
Photo courtesy of the Public Broadcasting Service.

“Evolution Earth,” a new PBS docuseries, features chimpanzee research and interviews with Jill Pruetz, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Anthropology at Texas State University. The show tracks how animals are moving and adapting with the evolving planet.

Pruetz has been the principal investigator of the Fongoli Savanna Chimpanzee Project in Senegal since 2001, focusing on the environmental pressures that influence ape behavior. She compares the behavior of chimpanzees living in forested environments to inform knowledge of early human behavior from an adaptive perspective.

Pruetz has studied primates in Kenya, Nicaragua, Panama, Costa Rica, and Peru. She has also led field schools to the El Zota Biological Field School in Costa Rica, which she helped initiate in 1999.

“Evolution Earth” begins its five-episode run on Austin PBS on Sept. 6 at 9 p.m. Interviews with Pruetz and footage of the chimpanzees she has studied for over 20 years are featured in episode one, “Earth,” and episode three, “Heat.” Find more information and episodes on the PBS webpage.

For more information, contact University Communications:

Jayme Blaschke, 512-245-2555

Sandy Pantlik, 512-245-2922