Maryjka B. Blaszczyk, MBChB, PhD
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences
Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Dr. Maryjka B. Blaszczyk
(pronunciation: MA-ray-ka BLASH-chick)
I earned a MBChB degree (South Africa’s equivalent of the U.S. 'MD') from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. While in medical school, I became interested in human and primate evolution, and additionally studied towards a BSc (Med) with a major in Anatomy. This work led to me to publish on gait parameters in Homo floresiensis together with Kit Vaughan. I relocated to the U.S. to begin postgraduate training in Biological Anthropology at New York University in 2007, and completed a MA in primate evolutionary genetics at NYU's Molecular Anthropology Laboratory.
For my PhD, I switched focus to the evolutionary ecology of individual behavioral differences, or personality traits. My dissertation – 'Personality and Social Niche Specialization in Wild Vervet Monkeys' – examined the ecological correlates of variation in traits such as ‘boldness’, ‘reactivity’, and ‘sociability’ in vervets (Chlorocebus pygerythrus) in South Africa. As part of this project, I spent a year and a half conducting fieldwork on wild monkeys and developed novel techniques to measure behavioral variation in a field setting, using a combination of field experiments and naturalistic behavioral observations.
I moved to Austin in 2014 and, after completing my dissertation, continued to work as a postdoctoral fellow in Anthony Di Fiore's laboratory in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin until 2018. Thereafter, I made the decision to go back into Medicine. I sat the U.S. Medical Licensing Exams in 2019 and entered the joint Anatomical Pathology and Clinical Pathology Residency program at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in 2020.
Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles
Blaszczyk M.B. 2020. Primates got personality, too: toward an integrative primatology of consistent individual differences in behavior. Evolutionary Anthropology 29:56–67 PDF
Blaszczyk M.B. 2018. Consistency in social network position over changing environments in a seasonally breeding primate. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 72:11 PDF
Blaszczyk M.B. 2017. Boldness towards novel objects predicts predator inspection in wild vervet monkeys. Animal Behaviour 123: 91-100. doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2016.10.01. PDF
Vaughan C.L., Blaszczyk M.B. 2008. Dynamic similarity predicts gait parameters for Homo floresiensis and the Laetoli hominins. American Journal of Human Biology 20(3): 312-316. PDF
Blaszczyk M.B., Vaughan C.L. 2007. Re-interpreting the evidence for bipedality in Homo floresiensis: research letter. South African Journal of Science 103: 409-414. PDF
Blaszczyk M.B. 2019. Measurement of Novelty-Seeking in Wild Vervet Monkeys. In: Savanna Monkeys: The Genus Chlorocebus. Turner T., Cramer, J.D., and Schmitt, C.A., Eds. Pp 217-223. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781139019941.017
Parke S.R., Rich A.M., Blaszczyk M.B. & Schmitt, C.A. Timing of reproductive onset among female vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus pygerythrus) in wild and human-impacted populations. Am J Phys Anthropol 168 (S68): 185-186.
Blaszczyk M.B, Scarry, C. J., Di Fiore, A & Link, A. 2018. Influence of female reproductive state on social network structure in white-bellied spider monkeys (Ateles belzebuth) Am J Phys Anthropol 165 (S66): 30-30.
Scarry, C. J., Blaszczyk M.B, Link, A & Di Fiore, A. 2018. Variation in behavioral synchrony among white-bellied spider monkeys (Ateles belzebuth). Am J Phys Anthropol 165 (S66): 239-240.
Blaszczyk M.B. 2017. Individual differences in spatial position during collective movements of vervet monkeys. Am J Phys Anthropol 162 (S64): 123-123.
Blaszczyk M.B. 2016. Temporal stability in social network metrics among wild vervet monkeys. Am J Phys Anthropol 159 (S62): 97-97.
Blaszczyk M.B. 2015. Boldness in wild vervet monkeys: individual differences and consistency across contexts. Am J Phys Anthropol 156 (S60): 88-88.
Blaszczyk M.B. 2014. Novel object exploration in wild vervet monkeys. Am J Phys Anthropol 153 (S58): 80-80.
Blaszczyk M.B. 2013. Measurement of individual differences in novelty seeking in wild vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops) using a group-based approach. Am J Phys Anthropol 150 (S56): 82-83.
Vaughan C.L. & Blaszczyk M.B. 2007. Dynamic similarity predicts gait parameters for Homo floresiensis and the Laetoli hominins. Journal of Biomechanics 40: S40.
Maryjka B. Blaszczyk
2016 -- Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology – New York University (U.S.A.)
Dissertation: Personality and Social Niche Specialization in Wild Vervet Monkeys
2009 -- M.A. in Biological Anthropology – New York University (U.S.A.)
2007 -- B.Sc. (Med) – University of Cape Town (South Africa) Major: Anatomy
2006 -- M.B.Ch.B (equivalent to U.S. M.D.) – University of Cape Town (South Africa)
With Distinction in the Pre-Clinical Examinations and the degree with First Class Honours
2020 -- Resident, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
2019 -- Affiliate Research Fellow, Department of Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin
2016 - 2018 -- Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin
2016 -- Adjunct Professor, Department of Anthropology, Texas State University
2016 -- Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Anthropology, Boston University
2008 - 2013 -- Adjunct Instructor, Department of Anthropology, New York University
GRANTS, FELLOWSHIPS AND AWARDS
(Other than those with with published abstracts)
2016 -- Primate Behavior. Department of Anthropology, Texas State University
2013 -- Human Evolution. Department of Anthropology, New York University
Adjunct instructor/teaching assistant
2008 – 2013 -- Human Evolution. Department of Anthropology, New York University
2010 – 2011 -- Human Origins. Department of Anthropology, New York University
SERVICE AND OUTREACH
2016 -- Mentor, “Using R for Biological Anthropology” Workshop at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists annual conference, Atlanta, GA.
2016 – 2017 -- ‘Girl Day at UT Austin’ – outreach festival showcasing STEM fields to K 1-12 girls in Austin, TX
2015 – 2016 -- Community Science Fairs for ‘Hot Science, Cool talks’ at UT Austin
2015 -- Participant, Working Group on “Ethoinformatics: Developing data services and a standard “etho-grammar” for behavioral research”. University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas.
2013 -- Participant, Working Group on “Ethoinformatics: Developing data services and a standard “etho-grammar” for behavioral research”. Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri.
2011-- Co-chair, Graduate student job search committee, Dept. of Anthropology, NYU
2011-- Science Communication Workshop series, Carter Journalism Institute, New York University. Instructor: Steven Hall of the NYTimes.
2010 -- Graduate student job search committee, Dept. of Anthropology, NYU