Students and scholars come together for eighth annual NorthEastern Evolutionary Psychology Society (NEEPS) conference

NEEPS confSince its inception on the SUNY New Paltz campus in 2007, the NorthEastern Evolutionary Psychology Society (NEEPS) conference has served as a hub for students and scholars alike interested in the many ways that our behavior interfaces with the nature of evolution.

The brainchild of Glenn Geher, director of evolutionary studies/chair and professor of psychology at SUNY New Paltz, NEEPS is the first regional evolutionary psychology society of its kind. It was launched in an effort to locally replicate Geher’s experience at a Human Behavior and Evolution Society conference and share the excitement of human evolutionary research with his fellow colleagues, students, and scholars.

“Many see New Paltz as sort of the home-base for NEEPS, and I’m thrilled that we’re hosting the conference here on campus this year,” said Geher. “With no question, NEEPS 2014 includes some of the world’s most significant scholars who study and teach about the interface of evolution and the human animal.”

According to Geher, NEEPS 2014 presenters hail from all around the world—from the United States to South America to Asia and Europe, and Africa. Although many members study psychology, many participants are trained in anthropology, biology, ecology, history, philosophy, political science, psychiatry, public health, and sociology. This field range, said Daniel J. Kruger, NEEPS president and research assistant professor at the University of Michigan, creates an interdisciplinary dialogue and allows for collaboration across methodologies.

“NEEPS has been an incubator for research collaboration among its members, generating dozens of peer-reviewed journal articles and even edited book projects,” said Kruger. “Many individuals who participated in NEEPS as undergraduates have matriculated into graduate programs. Many of those who presented as graduate students are now in faculty positions.”

This is true, in fact, at SUNY New Paltz.

“Many collaborative endeavors have come out of NEEPS, including research projects across campuses often including undergraduate and graduate students working in close collaboration at different institutions,” said Geher. “In addition, many New Paltz students have directly benefited from NEEPS activities, leading to student-authored publications and presentations along with acceptance into doctoral programs—at Florida, Binghamton, and Kansas State—largely on the heels of their academic success demonstrated at NEEPS conferences.”

SUNY New Paltz presenters at NEEPS 2014, being held through April 13, include:
Ana Cañas ’13
Rachael A. Carmen ’13
Haley M. Dillon ’11g
Christopher Farrington ’16
Jessica Fell ’14
Bernadine Gangemi ’14
Daniel J. Glass ’12g
Morgan Gleason ’14
Amanda E. Guitar ’13g
Raina Hafftka ’13
Laura L. Johnsen ’11
Rebecca L. Newmark ’13
Melvin M. Philip ’14g
Andrew Shimkus ’15
Briana R. Tauber ’14
Alexandra VanBerge ’16
Glenn Geher, director of evolutionary studies/chair and professor of psychology
John M. Montgomery, adjunct professor of psychology
Rosemarie I. Sokol-Chang, adjunct professor of psychology