Nisarg Desai

I am a Ph.D. student at the Department of Anthropology, University of Minnesota working with Prof. Michael Wilson. I study vocal communication in chimpanzees at Gombe National Park, Tanzania. I use machine learning techniques to study the role of vocal learning and sexual selection in explaining the variation in chimpanzee vocalizations.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • M.A.: Biological Anthropology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 2018.
  • BS-MS Dual Degree: Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, 2015.

Curriculum Vitae


  • Primate behavior and ecology
  • Machine learning
Courses Taught
  • Teaching Assistant, ANTH 1001-Human Evolution
  • Teaching Assistant, ANTH 3002-Sex, Evolution, and Behavior
  • Das, S., Erinjery, J. J., Desai, N., Mohan, K., Kumara, H. N., & Singh, M. (2018). Deceased-infant carrying in nonhuman anthropoids: Insights from systematic analysis and case studies of bonnet macaques (Macaca radiata) and lion-tailed macaques (Macaca silenus). Journal of comparative psychology
  • Mangalam, M., Desai, N.,& Singh, M. (2016). Division of labour: a democratic approach towards understanding manual asymmetries in non-human primates. CURRENT SCIENCE, 110(9), 1630.
  • Mangalam, M., Desai, N.,& Singh, M. (2016). Self-organization of laterally asymmetrical movements as a consequence of space–time optimization. Journal of theoretical biology, 390, 50-60.
  • Mangalam, M., Desai, N.,& Singh, M. (2015). Division of labor in hand usage is associated with higher hand performance in free-ranging bonnet macaques, Macaca radiata. PloS one, 10(3), e0119337.
  • Mangalam, M., Desai, N.,& Singh, M. (2014). Do right-handed monkeys use the right cheek pouch before the left?. PloS one, 9(5), e97971.
  • Mangalam, M., Desai, N.,& Singh, M. (2014). Division of labor in hand usage in free‐ranging bonnet macaques, (Macaca radiata). American journal of primatology, 76(6), 576-585.