Carrie Hall Professor in Dept of Biological Sciences

Leslie Curren

Phone: (603) 862-5103
Office: Biological Sciences, Spaulding Hall Rm 260, Durham, NH 03824
Pronouns: She/her/hers

My training is in behavioral ecology, with a focus on how evolutionary forces shape social and sexual behavior. I’m particularly interested in how these two behavioral spheres overlap: in a gregarious species, how do social dynamics affect individual reproductive success?

I am equally passionate about incorporating progressive, evidence-based teaching practices into my courses in ways that promote active learning and inclusivity. I aim to teach students *how* to think more than *what* to think, and to provide them with ideas and skills they can take far beyond UNH.

Courses Taught

  • BIOL 412/412H: Intro Biol: Evol Biodiv & Ecol
  • BIOL 780: Capstone Companion Course
  • INCO 590: Rsrch Exp/Biological Sciences
  • NSB 400: Topics Neuroscience & Behavior
  • NSB 600: Field Experience in NSB
  • NSB 799H: Honors Senior Thesis
  • ZOOL 406: Evolution of Human Behavior
  • ZOOL 406H: Hon/Evol Human Behav
  • ZOOL 600: Field Experience
  • ZOOL 613: Animal Behavior
  • ZOOL 726: Conservation Behavior
  • ZOOL 733/833: Behavioral Ecology


  • Ph.D., Michigan State University
  • B.A., Interdisciplinary Studies, Amherst College

Research Interests

  • Animal Behavior/Ethology
  • Animal Ecology
  • Ecology
  • Evolution
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Human Evolution
  • Mammalogy

Selected Publications

  • Curren, L. J., Linden, D. W., Heinen, V. K., McGuire, M. C., & Holekamp, K. E. (2015). The functions of male-male aggression in a female-dominated mammalian society. ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, 100, 208-216. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2014.11.024

  • Curren, L. J., Weldele, M. L., & Holekamp, K. E. (2013). Ejaculate quality in spotted hyenas: intraspecific variation in relation to life-history traits. JOURNAL OF MAMMALOGY, 94(1), 90-99. doi:10.1644/12-MAMM-A-057.1

  • Clotfelter, E. D., Curren, L. J., & Murphy, C. E. (2006). Mate choice and spawning success in the fighting fish Betta splendens: The importance of body size, display behavior and nest size. ETHOLOGY, 112(12), 1170-1178. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0310.2006.01281.x

  • Most Cited Publications