Megan Petersdorf

New York, NY, US
Field of Work 
New York University
Job Title or "Student" 
PhD Student
New York University
Biological Anthropology
Education Level 
Profile Biography 
I am a primatologist (scientist who studies monkeys and apes) currently living in New York City pursuing my PhD.

I have been interested in science and how the world around me works as long as I can remember. I always had a specific love for animals and the environment. As a child, there did not seem to be any animal-related jobs outside of becoming a veterinarian that I knew of. My high school biology teacher introduced me to Primatology with a field trip to a local zoo. We took behavioral "data" on the chimpanzees; I was shocked to find out that this exciting, unique experience was actually science! I decided then and there that was what I wanted for my future career.

Since then, I have gone on to receive my Bachelor's degree from University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in Biological Anthropology and a Master's degree from University of Roehampton (London, UK) in Primate Biology, Behavior, and Conservation. I have had numerous internships and jobs relating to the biology and behavior of many species of mammals including cheetahs, squirrel monkeys, bonobos, baboons, elephants, and lions. My interests have also taken me to South Africa, Nigeria, and Zambia to study animals in their natural environments. I am currently a PhD graduate student at New York University (NYU), where my research focuses on Kinda baboons in Zambia.

In addition to my work experience, I enjoyed volunteering with Jane Goodall's Roots and Shoots organization, which inspires young people to make a difference in their community for people, animals, and the environment. I was also an after-school science teacher for awhile where I engaged elementary-aged children in hands-on fun science lessons. I currently mentor middle school to undergraduate girls in NYC who are interested in science on a group- and individual-level basis.

My goal is to be a positive role model for youth, specifically girls, to show them that science is fun, exciting, and very cool! I want to break the boundaries of what society views as a "scientist" and show everyone that scientists can be world explorers who study animals and ultimately assist in saving them and their environment.
Writing/blogging, Working outdoors, Pets, Dance, Computing, Reading, Travel, Acting
Race & Ethnicity 
Level of Participation 
After-school visit, Field trip participation, In-school visit, Job shadow, Online role model, Summer camp visit
My Experience 
I have been a Role Model many times.
No Preference
Career exploration activities, Field trip hosting, Fun demonstrations or materials, Hands-on activities for students, Identifying other role models

 All Rights Reserved.   Privacy Policy »  Terms of Use »  
© 2020, National Girls Collaborative