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PALEOS (Primate Anatomy, Locomotion, Ecology On the Savanna)
Tracy Kivell, Max Plank Institute, Department of Human Origins

The PALEOS team seeks to understand the environmental and selective pressures on savanna-dwelling primate behaviour, anatomy and locomotor ecology. 


Collaboration with the Oelze lab aims to address questions targeting not just Issa chimpanzee isotope ecology and its relationship to food biomechanics (work with Adam van Casteren, see here), but also dental markers of chimpanzee habitat and habitat utilisation...

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With Prof Pijanowski, we're working to establish and monitor the Issa soundscape, especially spatio-temporal variability in the sound environment, but also how soundscapes are influenced by human disturbance. More coming soon!


Reconstructing Paleohabitats and Mammalian Assemblages
Denise Su, Arizona State University

With Prof Su, we're using long-term ecological data from Issa (mammal distribution, composition, and abundance, rainfall, habitat, soil type, etc.) to better model fossil hominin environments, especially those with rich hominin-fossil mammal deposits (left).

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With Prof. Loos, we are ivnestigating butterfly diversity, as well as spatial (ecological) influences on distribution. See a preliminary photographic list by clicking "Read More below of some early identifications made by Loos!


In addition to the employment of motion triggered cameras and solar-powered acoustic recorders, the GMERC collaborates with Conservation Drones to assist in better understanding the Issa chimpanzee habitat. This technology has been used to successfully...



Frank Møller Aarestrup

Saria Otani

Denmark Technical University (DTU)

We are currently looking into multiple questions answered by the microbiome with  Frank Moller Aarestrup & Saria Otani at DTU.


Primate Parasitology 
Dr. Klara Petrzelkova
Dr. Barbora Pafčo
Bethan Mason

Inst of Vertebrate Biology/Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic

One artifact of living in a marginal habitat may be increased stress, potentially reflected in behavior (e.g. ranging) or compromised immunity. We thus have ongoing studies of the microbiota of Issa chimpanzees, not only to better understand parasite type and diversity...

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Chimpanzee Abundance and Habitat Connectivity 

Noemie Bonnin, Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU)

Joana Carvalho, LJMU

Lilian Pintea, The Jane Goodall Institute

Led by Drs. Noemie Bonnin and Joana Carvalho, we have recently investigated not only habitat connectivity, but also gene flow in chimpanzees across the Greater Mahale Ecosystem.

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Monitoring Critical Chimpanzee Habitat

Carbon Tanzania,

Frankfurt Zoological Society

GMERC has been coordinating biodiversity and chimpanzee survey efforts since 2011, resulting in a geographically broader understanding of suitable chimpanzee habitat, but also using this new understanding and working together with partners to protect chimpanzees and their habitat. More survey work is planned for 2023 - stay tuned for updated results soon!


Pan-African Programme

Max Plank Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

This collaboration was part of the PanAfrican Programme: The Cultured Chimpanzee. Part of the initiative’s aim was to collect information on ecological and social parameters of African great ape populations on large spatial scales to complement information obtained...

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