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Meet The Team

Past Interns

Wiske Bovee

Wiske Bovee

September 2023 - March 2024

My name is Wiske, I am a Tropical Forestry student from the Netherlands, currently in my final year. I spent 5mo at Issa for my Bsc internship.
     My passion for nature has always been present, and I’ve enjoyed doing fieldwork since the first time I tried it. That’s why I loved spending so much time in the beautiful Issa Valley. During my time here I focused on assessing vegetation heterogeneity, especially distibution and diversity of key feeding species for Issa's primates. I also initiated a project inventorying Issa's riverside butterflies.
     I am honored to have been part of this place and I learned so much from its amazing people. Asante! 


Joram Lazaro


Am a graduate from Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), Morogoro in 2021. My great attitude and passionate is on the field of  wildlife conservation and am strong committed to the mission. I believe in excellence and have always dedicated myself, my talents, and my creative abilities to assure the success of GMERC. I hope being part of GMERC will allow me to expand my abilities and increase my experience, and learn from international researchers. My positive attitude is a valuable asset and I am certain that my skill-set will benefit GMERC's mission .

     My core strength include but is not limited to the following, researching primate needs and coming to accurate conclusion to their requirements and keeping an eye  on their trends, condition and development . My work experience is strengthened with high responsibility and efforts.

Ambonise Mtweve.jpg

Ambonise Mtweve


My name is Ambonise Joachim Mtweve, a graduate with a Bachelor degree in Wildlife Management from the college of African Wildlife Management. I began working with GMERC as a Research Assistant-intern, an opportunity that offered me training to pursue a future degree in primate behaviour, especially in great apes like chimpanzees. I am excited to acquire new skills and knowledge and also have me the opportunity to work closely with leading scientists in the field of protecting biodiversity. I am happy and I believe this is the right place for me!

Alice Mwombeki

Alice Mwombeki

August 2023

My names is Alice Deogratias Mwombeki.

Am a fresh graduate from the College of African Wildlife Management -MWEKA.

My great sense of concern with and curiosity is on the field of Wildlife conservation. I hope being a part of GMERC community will give me a room to gain more field experience, Also to have a chance to meet and working with international students and researchers that will help me in strengthening my career goals and networking opportunities as a young conservationist.


Benadetha Pesambili

Benedetha Pesambili

August 2023

My name is Benadetha Pesambili, a Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) graduate of 2022 and ecosystem conservationist who pursued BSc. In Environmental Science and Management. I have long sought to work in wildlife hotspots to support in research and wildlife conservation efforts. Whilst with GMERC, I am keen to learn more about remote monitoring of primates, especially their movement, behaviour, and the overall biodiversity that characterizes the Greater Mahale Ecosystem. 

Fleur Drontmann (Van Larenstein Univ) st

Fleur Drontmann

Van Hall Larenstein University (The Netherlands)

February - July 2023

I'm  from the Netherlands and  currently in my second year of the study Animal management.  I conducted an internship at GMERC to get experience in primatology field research. My fascination for chimpanzees started at a young age, and GMERC provided me the chance to study them in the wild. I mainly focused on the territorial behaviour and hope to continuing wildlife research in the future.

Lian Bakker (Van Larenstein Univ), focusing on chimpanzees activity budgets (Feb-July 2023

Lian Bakker

Van Hall Larenstein University (The Netherlands)

February - July 2023

My name is Lian Bakker, I am a second year Animal Management student from the Netherlands. I’m doing my orientation internship at GMERC to get experience in the primatology and research field. During my internship I will focus on the activity budget of chimpanzees during seasonal fluctuations. Ive always been interested in primates and especially great apes and I hope to continue in this field in the future. So what better way than to follow my internship at GMERC.


Epifania Temu

GMERC Primate Intern

January -December 2023

I am Epifania Temu, a Tanzanian and Sokoine University of Agriculture graduate (2022) with a BSc. Environmental Sciences and Management. My wildlife enthusiasm dates back to 2021 as the Ecological Field Assistant at the Udzungwa Ecological Monitoring Centre with a major operational focus on primate monitoring, tracking, and camera trapping. I believe that “the welfare of wildlife biodiversity is among other things dependent on and dictated by the ecological suitability and climate favorability”. This drove my interest as a GMERC Intern to further chimpanzee habitat conservation strategies via in-depth research (investigation) and analysis of the joint influence of ecological and climatological parameters on the chimpanzee population.  In recognition of the wider role of the ecosystem and habitat in rescuing the Threatened Chimpanzee (IUCN Red List), I envision “acting strategizing on Conserving Habitat and halting ecosystem degradation in a changing climate for Chimpanzee and the general biodiversity of the Greater Mahale Ecosystem”.

Theresa Schulze and mushroom consumption (Sept 2022 - July 2023).jpg

Theresa Schulze

Independent Researcher

Septembr 2022 - July 2023

My name is Theresa Schulze. I recently graduated from the Julius-Maximilians University of Würzburg in Germany with a BSc in Biology. I joined GMERC to gain primate field experience before pursuing a Master's program. As mushrooms occur throughout the Issa Valley (esp. during the rainy season) and are long-known to be an important food for Issa's primates, my research focused on the mycophagy among chimpanzees, baboons and red-tailed monkeys. To do this, I examined when primates started consuming mushrooms, which species they consumed, and what percentage of the total diet was comprised by mushroom consumption. 


Cosmas Mpongo


February - April 2023

Cosmas began as an Intern at GMERC in early 2023 after working in Gombe National Park for over 11 years. He was promoted to full-time research assistant in May 2023.


Nick Mwanri


October - December 2022

Nick joined GMERC as an intern after graduating from Sokoine University in 2020 with a degree in Wildlife Management. He began as a full-time research assistant in early 2023 and leads our bird inventory projet, as well as plays a key role in the Chimpanzee project.


Doreen Mungure


April - May 2022

I am Doreen Mungure,  a native Tanzanian. I graduated from College of African Wildlife Management, Mweka in 2020 for a Bachelor degree in Wildlife Management. As part of my academic achievements, I conducted research on primate behaviour that focused on diurnal activity patterns of the endemic Udzungwa Red Colobus Monkey (Procolobus gordonorum) at Udzungwa Mountains National Park. I am currently working as a Primate Researcher Intern with GMERC team, focused on the behaviour, ecology and conservation of wildlife especially primate species that live across the Greater Mahale Ecosystem. With my passion in wildlife conservation, I am excited to join the GMERC team in enabling lasting existence of primates and their behavioural diversity.


Kahana Abubakari


January 2022

Habari, I have a bachelor degree in wildlife management from CAWM, Mweka. Understanding of different aspects of wildlife is important in the field of wildlife conservation and we can understand these aspects through scientific research, which is why I was interested in joining GMERC. I believe that in GMERC I'll add a great deal of knowledge and skills in scientific research, gain field experience and an understanding of different aspects of wildlife specifically primates which is necessary in the field of wildlife conservation, thanks.


Ivorda Mhakilicha


January - July 2022

I graduated from Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania in 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Management. My career interest is in conducting wildlife field research for biodiversity conservation. This will help to reverse some of the damage caused by humans to the natural environment and sustain the natural environment for future generations. At GMERC I will gain experience in conducting field research and I hope that my work will result in improved conversation of biodiversity. It's also a joy to be a part of a team that's working hard to make the GMERC vision a reality.


Joyce Mkola

Data Analyst/Intern

January - December 2021

I am a holder of bachelor degree in wildlife management and a nature lover. I am very much interested in field research and conservation as it helps us discover new knowledge regarding our environment and wildlife so we can know it and be able to protect our nature and ensure it exists for the next generation.


Veronica Msigara


December 2020 - Present

I'm a University graduate with a Bachelor Degree of Science in Wildlife Science and Conservation from University of Dar es salaam, Tanzania. I'm really passionate to primate conservation because through conserving them and by protecting their habitats other wild species will also survive and we will ultimately improve the environment we all share. We humans were once part of nature, so we have to respect our roots and develop respect to all living things. Live and let live!


Sophia Boniface


October - December 2020

I am from Mwanza region, I am 24 years old and I  possess a degree in wildlife tourism from CAWM. I love nature from the bottom of my heart and I wish long term sustainability of nature, my goal is to conserve nature by any means, which is why I am so happy to work with GMERC; by doing research I'll know some conservation tips of some animal species. Asante!


Magdalena Tarimo


October - December 2020

I am a wildlife conservator professional with 6 years of progressive experience in private and public companies, including in the wildlife arena specialising in tour guiding, tourism marketing, wildlife research, and conservation. I hold a bachelor degree in wildlife management. I am passionate about learning and development and organise local safaris with student groups to create a sprit of conservation for the young generation. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. Some of my other hobbies include photography, dancing, baking and travelling. My most exotic vacation was a trip to Zanzibar where I went on a safari to Stone town and a Spice tour.


Julius Nkykirize


October - November 2020

I have done forest work with chimpanzees at Kanyawara (in Kibale Forest, Uganda) and Toro-Semliki Game Reserve at Nyaburogo forest (Uganda). I  am a collaborating visitor with Mugiri Chimpanzee project with University of Indiana (USA).

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