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Georgina M. Montgomery
Georgina M. Montgomery, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Department: HPS
Address: E-185 Holmes
Phone: (517) 432-1655

Dr. Georgina M. Montgomery received her PhD in the History of Science and Technology from the University of Minnesota in 2005. After teaching for two years at Montana State University, she joined Lyman Briggs College (75% appointment) and History (25% appointment) in the fall of 2008. Her research focuses on the history of field science, particularly the development of field methods and sites within primatology and animal behavior studies. Primatology is an international science and therefore her research also engages with issues of race, gender and globalization.

Georgina M. Montgomery organized the international and interdisciplinary conference Animals: Past, Present and Future in April of 2009. Ten of the fifty-three papers presented at that conference are included in the volume, Making Animal Meaning, which Montgomery co-edited with Linda Kalof, Professor of Sociology at Michigan State University. Montgomery’s other publications include articles for the Journal for the History of Biology and Endeavour, book chapters for Teaching the Animal and a chapter on Darwin and Gender for the Cambridge University Press’ encyclopedia on Darwin. Montgomery also has a book manuscript (in progress) entitled, Primates in the Real World: Making Primatology Scientific.               

Personal Web Page


Montgomery in the News:

MSU Today article on Drs. Montgomery, Bellon and Largent’s contributions to the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Darwin (2013):


A story in MSU Today about a research project Dr. Montgomery is working on as Co-Pi for an NSF grant to examine diversity in science teams in relation to ethical behaviors:



Ph.D, History of Science and Technology, University of Minnesota, 2005


Montgomery teaches a range of courses on the history of field science, gender and science, and the history of primatology and animal behavior studies. Her classes often involve student-led learning, learning teams, digital projects, and experiential learning, including field trips on and off campus.

For Examples of Undergraduate Research Projects Produced in Montgomery’s LBC 336 Gender and Evolution Class Click Here:


For Examples of Undergraduate Research Published on Montgomery’s Women in Science Digital Collection Click Here:




NSF STS Dissertation Improvement Grant to support 8 months of fieldwork in Amboseli, Kenya, performed by Amanda Lewis (Montgomery’s Graduate Student in the Department of History)

Creating Inclusive Excellence Grant, Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, Fall 2010
Creating Inclusive Excellence Grant, Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, Summer 2009
CASID/WID Award for Curriculum Development, Spring 2009
Culture and Animals Foundation Research Grant, Spring 2008
Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, University of Minnesota, 2004-2005
Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant, University of Minnesota, 2003-2004

Faculty Affiliations:
Center for Gender in Global Context, Michigan State University, Core Faculty
Animal Studies Specialization, Michigan State University, Affiliated Faculty
Science, Technology, Environment, and Public Policy, Michigan State University, Affiliated Faculty

    2013 -Lyman Briggs Distinguished Faculty Certificate
    2013 -Selected as “One of the Top 25 Women Professors in Michigan” by
    2012 -Lilly Teaching Fellow, Michigan State University, 2012-­-2013
    2007 -Animals and Society Course Award, The Humane Society of the United States (annual award for academic excellence in course design and instruction)
    2003 -Edwin T. Layton Award for Outstanding Teaching (graduate student teaching award, Program for the History of Science and Technology, University of Minnesota)

    Michigan State University Science and Society at State Collaborative Grant Award, (PI: Patricia Soranno, Co-PIs: Kendra Spence Cheruvelil, Kevin Elliott, Georgina Montgomery, Pang-Ning Tan), Conceptions of Good Science in a Data-Rich World [2015 -2016] $10,000
    National Science Foundation, (Elliott, Cheruvelil, Montgomery, Settles, Soranno), Ethical Standards and Practices of Environmental Scientists: Does Team Diversity Matter? [2014 -2019] $600,000
    National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant, (Montgomery), Creating Amboseli National Park: Contesting Maasai Pastoralism and Saving Wildlife in Kenya [2012 -2013] $17,924
    Michigan State University Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives. Creating Inclusive Excellence Grant Program, (Kendra Cheruvelil, Cori Fata-Hartley, Aaron M. McCright, Georgina Montgomery), Discovering Diversity, Creating Inclusion: An Inquiry into Diversity and Science [2009 -2009] $14,409

    2013 ‘Gender,’ in M. Ruse, ed., The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Darwin and Evolutionary Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.
    2010 'History from Below: Animals as Historical Subjects,' in M. DeMello, ed., Teaching the Animal: Human-Animal Studies Across Disciplines. New York: Lantern Books, 2010 (with Linda Kalof).
    2009 ' 'Infinite Loneliness': The Life and Times of Miss Congo,' Endeavour 33.3 (2009): 101-05.
    2005 'Place, Practice and Primatology: Clarence Ray Carpenter, Primate Communication and the Development of Field Methodology, 1931-1945,' Journal of the History of Biology 38.3 (2005): 495-533.


Primates in the Real World: Escaping Primate Folklore and Creating Primate Science book image
Primates in the Real World: Escaping Primate Folklore and Creating Primate Science
The opening of this vital new book centers on a series of graves memorializing baboons killed near Amboseli National Park in Kenya in 2009--a stark image that emphasizes both the close emotional connection between primate researchers and their subjects and the intensely human qualities of the animals. Primates in the Real World goes on to trace primatology’s shift from short-term expeditions designed to help overcome centuries-old myths to the field’s arrival as a recognized science sustained by a complex web of international collaborations. Considering a series of pivotal episodes spanning the twentieth century, Georgina Montgomery shows how individuals both within and outside of the scientific community gradually liberated themselves from primate folklore to create primate science. Achieved largely through a movement from the lab to the field as the primary site of observation, this development reflected an urgent and ultimately extremely productive reassessment of what constitutes "natural" behavior for primates.
Pages: 176
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
Date Published: September 2015
ISBN-13: 978-0813937366
Making Animal Meaning (The Animal Turn) book image
Making Animal Meaning (The Animal Turn)
An elucidating collection of ten original essays, Making Animal Meaning reconceptualizes methods for researching animal histories and rethinks the contingency of the human–animal relationship. The vibrant and diverse field of animal studies is detailed in these interdisciplinary discussions, which include voices from a broad range of scholars and have an extensive chronological and geographical reach. These exciting discourses capture the most compelling theoretical underpinnings of animal significance while exploring meaning–making through the study of specific spaces, species, and human–animal relations. A deeply thoughtful collection — vital to understanding central questions of agency, kinship, and animal consumption — these essays tackle the history and philosophy of constructing animal meaning.
Pages: 312
Publisher: Michigan State University Press
Date Published: December 2011
ISBN-13: 978-1611860160