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From the field!


Welcome to our "From the field" blog @ GMERC!


GMERC – or the Greater Mahale Ecosystem Research and

Conservation Project – invites you, dear reader, to have a

glimpse into our life and work, here, at the research station in

the remote Issa valley in Western Tanzania.

     Numerous times friends and family ask us questions: Why are you doing this - this fieldwork? How can you cope with the isolation? How can you choose to live in a remote, basic research field-site with no flushing toilet, no running water, no reliable electricity and even more importantly – no high-speed internet?

     And the answer always looks simple to us, but is a challenge to explain to others who have not experienced life in the bush. Fieldwork is more than adventure and learning about our beautiful planet and its inhabitants. There are those small moments of beauty, the dealing with solitude and frustration or the struggle to maintain a work-life balance (too much work, not enough life!), that reveals so much more about oneself than any self-help book will ever be able to. Fieldwork is a way of living, a whole worldview one might say. And it is full of setbacks and rewards that happen in the most unlikely situations.

    In the following entries, we would like to share some of these moments and experiences with you from the perspectives of those on the ground. We hope that it will be an entertaining and educating journey that will make readers smile at times and wonder at others about wildlife, scientific research, and fieldwork in remote East Africa.     


June 2023

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

Lian Bakker plays hide and seek with an elusive chimpanzee party! Read her tales here!

May 2023


Theresa Schulze describes here the trials and tribulations of tracking down the focal and newly habituated baboon troop!

March 2023


David Meszaros recounts following Issa chimpanzees on a duiker hunt! Read his field blog here!

November 2022

Read here and here about the challenges following chimpanzees by Nora Bennamoun!

May 2022

Ivorda Mhakilicha tells us about Issa's red-tailed monkeys as she begins her project on woodland feeding! Read about it here!

April 2022

Marilen Gabel describes her first encounter with wild chimpanzees here!!

March 2022

In the most recent field blog, Sam Baker talks chimpanzee culture and observing rare events! Read more here.

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