Linda Vigilant is an American primatologist and geneticist. Vigilant works at the Department of Primate Behavior and Evolution at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI-EVA) in Leipzig, Germany.
Research and career
She began her career by working on the evolution of mitochondrial DNA in human populations at MPI-EVA. Her work uses genetic analyses to address questions on the evolution of humans and other primates, particularly the great apes. +more Her research focus is on the level of individual social groups, such as examination of the effects of kinship on the social behaviour of pairs of individuals. Other studies use genotyping of entire primate populations to infer dispersal behavior and group social dynamics. Vigilant's recent research interests are using large-scale sequencing approaches for understanding the long-term histories of primate populations and seeing the effects of high variance in male reproductive success on patterns of genomic variation.
Vigilant has been married twice, first to a fellow geneticist, and subsequently to Svante Pääbo since 2008. She has two sons with her first husband and one son and a daughter with her second.