Jaime Tanner


Environmental Studies


B.S., University of Massachusetts, 1998
Ph.D., Michigan State University, 2007
Darwin Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Massachusetts, 2008-2010

At Marlboro Since


View Emerson Profile

Headshot of Jaime Tanner

With a doctoral degree in both zoology and ecology, evolutionary biology and behavior, Jaime Tanner has spent much of her academic career studying spotted hyenas in Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve. At Marlboro, Jaime encourages her her students to find their own passions in Biology and then to seek out opportunities to gain first-hand experience conducting research. She often extends her classroom beyond its four walls into the forests surrounding campus in her biology, general ecology, winter ecology and many other courses.

Teaching Philosophy

“I strive to equip students with the tools they’ll need to answer questions about the natural world,” says Jaime, who brings her appreciation of experiential and student-driven learning into the classroom. “My goal is for my students to know how to think critically about science and how to ask good scientific questions.” She also has a passion for bringing students into the field to explore other ecosystems in places such as Kenya, Yellowstone National Park and Iceland in winter.

Scholarly Activities

Jaime’s research takes an integrative approach, combining behavioral, morphological and performance data to understand developmental changes in members of the Order Carnivora and other mammals. This research is part of a growing body of literature demonstrating that the relationship between morphology and performance changes as an animal grows and faces different selective pressures throughout their life history. In addition to her own publications, Jaime is a reviewer for Behaviour, Journal of Mammalogy, Journal of Morphology and Canadian Journal of Zoology.

Selected Publications

  • “Ontogenetic change in skull morphology and mechanical advantage in the spotted hyena, (Crocuta crocuta).” Tanner, J.B., M.L. Zelditch, B.L. Lundrigan & K.E. Holekamp. Journal of Morphology, 271 (2010): 353-365.
  • “Post-weaning maternal effects and the evolution of female dominance in the spotted hyena.” Watts, H.E., J.B. Tanner, B.L. Lundrigan & K.E. Holekamp. Proceedings of the Royal Society B276 (2009): 2291-2298.
  • “Of Arcs and Vaults: The biomechanics of bone-cracking in spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta).” Tanner, J.B., E.R. Dumont, S.T. Sakai, B.L. Lundrigan & K.E. Holekamp. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 95 (2008): 246-255.
  • “Ontogenetic variation in the play behavior of spotted hyenas.” Tanner, J.B., L. Smale & K.E. Holekamp. Journal of Developmental Processes 2(2)(2007):5-30.

Sponsored Plans

Home, belonging

Hava Toobian, 2019

Intentions and operations

Logan Davis, 2017

The things I never said

Lindsay Stevens, 2017


Naji Forest Pride, 2016

Visceral experience

Colin Leon, 2016

Buster Keaton, A Funny Man

Erika Klemperer, 2015

The dirt on mutualism

Elizaveta Mitrofanova, 2015

Donna Leathrum, now I know

Grace Leathrum, 2012


Jaime Tanner on Form and Function in Nature and Dogs on the Common

Conversation on the relationship between form and function in the anatomy, particularly skulls, of spotted hyenas.

Marlboro Student Receives Fulbright Award

Graduating senior Theresa Chockbengboun has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant for an English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) for the 2015-2016 academic year. Theresa, who has studied biology at Marlboro, will be teaching English at a university in Laos while pursuing research opportunities in [...]