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Meet The Team

Primary Investigators

The primary investigators are those who have spent the most amount of time in the region, having conducted extensive fieldwork at the Issa valley research station and also peripheral areas where chimpanzees range across the Greater Mahale Ecosystem. Together, they oversee the research conducted at Issa and are broadly responsible for the  administration and coordination of the site.

Alex Piel

Research Coordinator

My specific interests centre on primate vocalisation behaviour and overall primate adaptations to a savanna-woodland environment.

Fiona Stewart

Research Coordinator

I have a particular interest in the selective factors shaping sleep patterns and their influence on the evolution of cognition in primates, including spatial cognition and responses to fire and burned landscapes (pyro-cognition)

Honorary Members

The honorary members were the first of the group to survey and study in the region, this group represents the core members of the Anthropogeny Research Group (ARG), a non-profit organisation based in California. Further, in 2017, we also incorporated in Tanzania, as GMERC, LTD, for our focus on Greater Mahale Ecosystem Research and Conservation.

Adriana Hernandez-Aguilar

Adriana is a biological anthropologist, currently a researcher at the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES) at the University of Oslo, Norway. Before joining CEES she was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Cambridge (Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies). She received her first degree in archaeology from the Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia in Mexico City, where she first became interested in the use of chimpanzee archaeology for modelling early hominin behavior. She conducted behavioral research and environmental enrichment with captive, socially housed, monkeys in Mexico. She undertook masters and doctoral studies at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, completing her PhD in 2006. She began researching in Ugalla in 1998 where she established a temporary camp at the north end of the valley in 2001 and carried out a study collecting data for two consecutive years. Her work focuses on the use of ecological and archaeological techniques to study these savanna chimpanzees.

Jim Moore

Jim is a professor Emeritus at UCSD. He received his Ph. D. in Biological Anthropology from Harvard University in 1985, the year he first visited Ugalla to investigate the area’s potential for long-term fieldwork.  His research has examined the interaction of ecology and demography in establishing the context for complex social behavior.  This has led to work on (1) the reasons for sociality in primates and more specifically (2) the relationship among dispersal, inbreeding avoidance and nepotism; (3) the interaction of population density and male infanticidal behavior; and (4) the use of comparisons between savanna- and forest-living chimpanzees to examine the nature of chimpanzee sociality and model early hominin adaptations to open environments. See Jim’s page here.

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