Meet The Team

Field Assistants


In Their Words

Use the audio bars to hear what our team have to say!

All audio is in their native language, KiSwahili.

I was selected by my village to train and learn at Pasiansi Wildlife Institute in Mwanza

 Mariana describes her path to becoming a village forest scout 


Shedrack Lukas (left) on the history of GMERC, from the very origins in 2008!

When we began, there were only 5 of us, Alex, Fiona, and 2 of my colleagues.

We were a very small team in those days.

Mashaka Alimas (right) on his personal journey and how he ended up with GMERC back in 2011

I began work with chimpanzees on Kalobwe Mountain, near my village. In the early days, we used bananas to habituate chimpanzees. We learned since then that there are dangers to provisioning, and in time they can learn to tolerate researcher presence, like at Issa.


The forests is critical. Without the forests, there are no animals, there are no plants. Wildlife and people rely on these forests, these plants, these resources. In short, without the forests, there is no life.

Yahya Abeid (centre, front row)- a botanist who has worked in the Issa Valley since 1999 - describes the importance of botany to forest conservation

Anna, Yahya et al.jpeg