Erin Kinnally

Erin Kinnally Portrait

Position Title
Associate Professional Researcher



  • Ph.D., Psychology, UC Davis
  • M.A., Psychology, University of Nebraska, Omaha
  • B.A., Psychology, Hamilton College


Erin Kinnally is a professional researcher in the Psychology Department and a research scientist at the California National Primate Research Center. She is also a member of the Animal Behavior Graduate Group. She belongs to the American Society of Primatologists, the Society for Neuroscience, and the Society of Biological Psychiatry, and is on the Editorial Review Board of the journal Environmental Epigenetics.

Research Focus

Dr. Kinnally’s research focuses on understanding the developmental interactions between genes and environment that shape brain, behavior, and health in non-human primates. Dr. Kinnally’s research has demonstrated how structural genetic variation, epigenetics, and different types of early experiences, can all affect how one’s genes function, with implications for neurobehavioral traits and health. These outcomes do not necessarily end with the exposed generation, and Dr. Kinnally is also interested in how they may also be passed to subsequent generations through social and germ line mechanisms.


  • Kinnally, E.L. and Capitanio, J.P. (2015) Paternal Early Experiences Influence Infant Development through Non-Social Mechanisms in Rhesus Macaques. Frontiers in Zoology, 12, S14.
  • Kinnally, E.L. (2014) Epigenetic Plasticity Following Early Stress Predicts Long-Term Health Outcomes in Rhesus Macaques. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 55(2):192-9.
  • Kinnally, E.L. Feinberg, C., Kim, D., Ferguson, K., Coplan, J.D., and Mann, J.J. (2013) Transgenerational Effects of Early Variable Foraging Demand Stress in Female Bonnet Macaques. American Journal of Primatology, 75, 509-17.
  • Kinnally, E.L. Feinberg, C., Kim, D., Ferguson, K., Leibel, R., Coplan, J.D., and Mann, J.J. (2011) DNA Methylation as a Risk Factor in the Effects of Early Life Stress. Brain, Behavior and Immunity, 25 (8): 1548-53.
  • Kinnally, E.L., Karere, G.M., Mendoza, S.P. Lyons, L.A., Mason, W.A., & Capitanio, J.P. (2010) Serotonin Pathway Gene-Gene and Gene-Environment Interactions Influence Behavioral Response to Stress in Infant Rhesus Macaques. Development and Psychopathology, 22 (1), 35-44.


Undergraduate and graduate students can be trained in non-human primate behavior and molecular genetics in Dr. Kinnally’s lab. Dr. Kinnally has previously taught Physiological Psychology, Developmental Psychobiology, Advanced Animal Behavior, Health Psychology, and Hormones and Behavior.


Dr. Kinnally’s work is funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Development. She has previously been awarded the UC Davis Academic Federation Innovative Development Award, the Janssen Fellowship in Translational Neuroscience at Columbia University, and the National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship.