Travis Steffens

Assistant Professor
Department of Sociology & Anthropology
Phone number: 
519-824-4120, ext. 53342
MCKN 636
Accepting graduate students: 

primate, lemur, One Health, biogeography, conservation, spatial ecology, zoonosis, anthropozoonosis

PhD Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Toronto, 2017

My research program investigates human-lemur interactions within a shared environment. I leverage conservation biogeography, spatial ecology, and One Health approaches to understand how lemurs interact with and respond to human caused disturbance. I am also interested in how humans are impacted by applied conservation measures targeting lemurs and their habitat. Specifically, I am interested in understanding the factors determining lemur species richness and occurrence in habitat shared wtih people. 

As a public anthropologist, my aim is to leverage the above approaches to provide applicable solutions that improve the lives of people, improve the conservation situation for lemurs, and protect the environment that people and lemurs share. I am also a member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Species Survival Commission, Primate Specialist Group for Madagascar, an International Fellow of the Explorers Club, a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society, and founding Director of Planet Madagascar, a charity focused on helping to create sustainable forest communities in Madagascar. 

I am actively seeking graduate students for 2023 in the Public Issues Anthropology MA program especially students interested in One Health approaches to understanding lemur ecology, conservation in relattion to interactions with humans.

  • Steffens, T. S., Ramsay, M. S., Andriatsitohaina, B., Cosby, A. E., Lehman, S. M., Rakotondravony, R., ... & Radespiel, U. (2022). Shifting Biogeographic Patterns of Microcebus ravelobensis and M. murinus. International Journal of Primatology43(4), 636-656. 
  • Steffens T.S., and Finnis E. (2022). Context matters: Leveraging anthropology within one health. One Health
  • Steffens T.S., Ramsay M.S., Andriatsitohaina B., Radespiel U., & Lehman S.M. (2021). Enter the matrix: habitat use by Microcebus spp. in a fragmented landscape. Folia Primatologica 92(1), 1-11
  • Steffens T.S. and Lehman S.M. (2021). Landscape ecology of deforestation processes and lemur biogeography in Madagascar. In GPS and GIS for Primatologists: A Practical Guide to Spatial Analysis. Dolins, F., Shaffer, C., Porter, L., Hickey, J., & Nibbelink, N. (Eds.). Cambridge University Press. 
  • Steffens T.S., Maheritaka H.M.R., Hildebrand J., & Aylward M. (2020). Lemur Distribution and Resident Attitudes Towards Forest Loss and Degradation in Ankarafantsika National Park, Madagascar. Primate Conservation 34, 61-70
  • Steffens T.S., Malabet-Mercado F., & Lehman S.M. (2020). Occurrence of lemurs in landscapes and their species-specific scale responses to habitat loss. American Journal of Primatology 82(4), e23110. 
  • Steffens, T.S., & Lehman, S.M. (2019). Species‐area relationships of lemurs in a fragmented landscape in Madagascar. American Journal of Primatology 81(4), e22972.
  • Steffens, T.S., & Lehman, S.M. (2018). Lemur species-specific metapopulation responses to habitat loss and fragmentation. PLOS ONE 13(5) e0195791.
  • Steffens, T.S., & Lehman, S.M. (2016). Factors determining Microcebus abundance in a fragmented landscape in Ankarafantsika National Park, Madagascar. In S.M. Lehman, U. Radespiel, E. Zimmermann (Eds.), The Dwarf and Mouse Lemurs of Madagascar: Biology, Behavior and Conservation Biogeography of the Cheirogaleidae (pp. 477-497). Cambridge University Press.
  • Behie, A. M., Steffens, T. S., Wyman, T. M., & Pavelka, M. S. (2015). Hurricanes and coastlines: The role of natural disasters in the speciation of howler monkeys. Taxonomic Tapestries: The Threads of Evolutionary, Behavioural and Conservation Research, 75. ANU Press.
  • Valenta, K., Steffens, T. S., Rafaliarison, R. R., Chapman, C. A., & Lehman, S. M. (2015). Seed banks in savanna, forest fragments, and continuous forest edges differ in a tropical dry forest in Madagascar. Biotropica, 47(4), 435-440.