Living Links Center
Yerkes National Primate Research Center
My interest in primatology began when I was young, but was greatly propelled by an undergraduate internship at the San Antonio Zoo. This opportunity of working with a large collection of both new and old world primates encouraged me to focus academically on our closest relatives. Beyond the classroom, I have worked as a research assistant and camp manager at Lui Kotale, the Max Planck Institute’s Bonobo Project field site in Salonga National Park, as well as assisted a PhD candidate from the University of Georgia within the Maringa-Lopori-Wamba landscape of the Democratic Republic of Congo. My time within the D.R.C. helped me to recognize the myriad issues surrounding the conservation of locally threatened primate species and the diversity of approaches that can create concrete solutions. I have been fortunate to apply this knowledge to a multitude of conservation projects throughout both Costa Rica and Madagascar.
I earned a BS in Zoology from Michigan State University and an MSc in Primate Conservation from Oxford Brookes University. My Masters research focused on the feeding ecology of a recently described and relatively unknown primate species, the southern gentle lemur Hapalemur meridionalis, in southeast Madagascar. In addition to investigating their dietary niche within a degraded and fragmented littoral forest, I also examined the overall nutritional quality of their diet in a seasonally harsh environment.
I recently joined Dr. Frans de Waal’s Living Links Center Chimpanzee Lab as a research specialist. My duties include the management of two groups of chimpanzees at the Yerkes Field Station, as well as observing, coding, and analyzing their behavior and social interactions. I also assist our graduate students and post-doctoral fellows with behavioral and cognitive testing of the chimpanzees.