I am Peruvian biologist from the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Perú, where I graduated in 2007.
I got interested in primates early in my career thanks to the mentorship of Prof. Rolando Aquino and Prof. Eckhard W. Heymann. Since then, I have carried out research on primates and big mammals, focusing on diversity, hunting sustainability and ecological studies; and also conservation activities to protect forests and raise public awareness for Peruvian primates, mainly for the critically endangered Yellow-tailed Woolly Monkey (Lagothrix flavicauda) and the endangered Andean Night Monkey (Aotus miconax). Recently, I have conducted research on the black and white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata) conservation status and behavioral ecology in Ranomafana National Park in Madagascar.
I am also part of the Non-Profit NGO Yunkawasi, where we designed a long term primate conservation education program that has been carried in Peru’s Tropical Andes since 2008 and has involved over ten thousand school children from rural areas. We have also supported the creation and establishment of the Community Area of Conservation Hierba Buena – Allpayacu for the Campesino Community of Corosha, and I am also part of the scientific team of the Private Area of Conservation Huiquilla.
Since Peru is one of the most primate diverse countries of the world, one of my major interests is boosting primatology in Peru and encouraging Peruvian students to be involved in conservation and research activities. This is why in 2011 I teamed up with Eckhard W. Heymann and Fanny Fernández-Melo and organized the 1st Meeting of Primatology in Peru in Lima, Peru. In 2013 we held the 2nd Meeting of Primatology in Peru in Iquitos, Peru, with the participation of over 200 students and professionals. Now we are in the process of organizing the 3rd Meeting of Primatology in Peru in the city of Puerto Maldonado in October 2015. Also, I created the website www.monosperu.org were researchers working with primates in Peru can post their projects and advertise opportunities for students.
At the moment I am in my third year at the PhD program at IDPAS, under the advisorship of Prof. Patricia C. Wright. My dissertation research is focused on the evolutionary history of night monkey Aotus. My research greatly benefits from my dissertation committee members Prof. Liliana Dávalos, Prof. Liliana Cortés and Prof. John Fleagle.
Di Fiore, A., Chaves, P.B., Cornejo, F.M., Schmitt, C.A., Shanee, S., Schmitt, C., Cortes-Ortiz L., Fagundes, V., Roos, C., Pacheco, V. 2014. The rise and fall of a genus: Complete mtDNA genomes shed light on the phylogenetic position of yellow-tailed woolly monkeys, Lagothrix flavicauda, and on the evolutionary history of the family Atelidae (Primates: Platyrrhini). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Aquino, R., Cornejo, F.M. & Heymann, E.W. 2013. Primate abundance and habitat preferences on the lower Urubamba and Tambo rivers, central-eastern Peruvian Amazonia. Primates DOI:10.1007/s10329-013-0357-3
Rylands, A.B., Mittermeier, R.A., Cornejo, F.M., Defler, T.R., Glander, K.E., Konstant, W.R., Pinto, L.P. & M. Talebi. 2013. Family Atelidae (Howlers, Spider and Woolly Monkeys and Muriquis). In: Handbook of the Mammals of the World - Volume 3: Primates. Ed. by Mittermeier, R.A., Rylands, A.B. & D.E. Wilson.
Aquino, R., Cornejo, F.M., Heymann, E.W., & Etersit Pezo. 2013. Distribution and abundance of white-fronted spider monkeys, Ateles belzebuth (Atelidae), and threats to its survival in Peruvian Amazonia. Folia Primatologica 84: 1-10
Recent abstracts of presentations:
Cornejo, F. M., Pacheco, V. R., & Ortiz, L. C. 2015. Phylogenetic relationships of Night Monkeys (Aotus): Evidence from pelage coloration and molecular data. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 156, pp. 110
·Cornejo, F.M., Fernandez-Melo, F. & Clanin, A. 2014. Primate Education In Peru: Lessons Learned and Prospects for the Future. XXV Congress of the International Primatological Society, Hanoi, Vietnam.
Cornejo, F.M., & Wright, P.C. 2014. Rethinking night monkey's nocturnality. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 153: 98
Cornejo, F.M., Tello, C., Chocce, M. and Vega, N. 2013. Resource use by yellow-tailed woolly monkeys in disturbed and undisturbed forests. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 150 (S56): 103
Cornejo, F.M. and Fernández-Melo F. 2012. Four years of primate conservation education in Peru. XXIV Congress of the International Primatological Society, Cancun, Mexico.
Cornejo, F.M., Tello, C., Chocce, M. and Vega, N. 2012 Use of space and diet of the andean night monkey Aotus miconax in the private area of conservation Huiquilla, Amazonas, Peru. XXIV Congress of the International Primatological Society, Cancun, Mexico.
Cornejo, F.M. and Heymann E.W. 2012. The recent Peruvian primatological tradition. 2012. XXIV Congress of the International Primatological Society, Cancun, Mexico.
Chaves, P., Cornejo, F.M., Shanee, S., Schmitt, C., Cortes-Ortiz L., Roos, C., Pacheco, V. and Di Fiore, A. 2012. Ateline phylogenetics revisited: an assessment of the position of the yellow- tailed woolly monkey based on nuclear DNA sequences and complete mitochondrial genomes. XXIV Congress of the International Primatological Society, Cancun, Mexico. August 2012
Di Fiore, A., Cornejo, F.M., Chaves, P., Schmitt, C., Shanee, S., Shanee, N., Cortes-Ortiz L., Roos, C. and Pacheco, V. 2012. The phylogenetic position of the yellow-tailed woolly monkey based on complete mitochondrial DNA genome sequence data. 81st Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists.
Velazco, P.M. and F.M. Cornejo. 2014. Historia de la Mastozoología en Perú, pp. 359–380. In Historia de la mastozoología en Latinoamérica, las Guayanas y el Caribe (J. Ortega, J.L. Martínez & D.G. Tirira, eds.). Editorial Murciélago Blanco y Asociación Ecuatoriana de Mastozoología, Quito y México D.F.
Prizes and Awards:
2008 Overbrook Conservation Fellowship Award by Center for Environmental Research and Conservation of Columbia University 2013 Sabin Primate Conservation Prize 2014 National Medal of Order of Merit in the category of professional achievement by the Ministry of Women in Peru 2015 Gold Medal for Environmental Merit and Title of Honor by the Circle of Radio and TV Journalists of Peru
My dissertation research is supported (so far) by: