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William McGrew receives $10,000 award

01/12/1999

William C. McGrew, a Miami University primatologist, recently received the Prix Delwart, a $10,000 prize for human ethology and cultural anthropology, from the Jean-Marie Delwart Foundation.

"An international award of this significance is an honor not just for Professor McGrew, but for the program in primate biology and human evolution available to Miami students," said Acting Provost Joe Urell.

McGrew, a faculty member in Miami's sociology, gerontology, and anthropology and zoology departments, won the prize in recognition for his research of primate ethology in modeling the origins of human culture. He has been working since 1972 in tropical Africa studying primates - monkeys and apes, especially chimpanzees - where he discovered that chimpanzees make and consistently use a rich and varied range of tools.

McGrew accepted the prize Dec. 19 in Brussels, Belgium, at the annual awards ceremony of the Royal Academy of Sciences.

Created in 1989, the Delwart Foundation, headquartered in Belgium, provides funds for the study of chemical communication in animals and humans and the study of animal behavior in human ethology and cultural anthropology. The foundation awards one $10,000 prize every three years.

"I feel greatly honored to receive the prize, especially as it is for interdisciplinary research that bridges the natural and social sciences," McGrew said.

McGrew, a Scottish citizen raised in Oklahoma, has published more than 200 articles on his work with human and nonhuman primates. In addition to his position at Miami, McGrew has been a visiting faculty member at the universities of California, North Carolina and New Mexico and was a reader in psychology at the University of Stirling for 20 years.

McGrew received a bachelor's degree in zoology from the University of Oklahoma, a D.Phil. degree in psychology from the University of Oxford and a doctorate in anthropology from the University of Stirling.

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