Meet The Team

Past Researchers

Sophia Boniface

Visiting Intern

October - December 2020

 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

Visiting Intern

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

Collaborative Consultant

October 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).

Rhianna Drummond-Clarke


January - November 2020

My fascination with apes started whilst studying for a masters in Palaeobiology at University College London (UK), where I studied ape dental morphology as a means to place fossil apes into ape taxonomy. After graduating in 2013, I wanted to explore the relationship between form and function further, leading me to seek work opportunities with living apes. I have since worked in chimpanzee conservation and research in Guinea and The Ivory Coast, and in 2020 undertook my own independent project at Issa, studying chimpanzee positional behaviour and habitat use, also investigating how/if their habitat use and behaviour changes in response to seasonal fires. I am currently a PhD student at the University of Kent working under Tracy Kivell.

Christian Howells

Research and Project Manager

December 2019 - September 2020

I have an MSc in Primate Conservation from Oxford Brookes University. Carrying out my thesis research in Uganda’s Budongo Forest Reserve, I focused on chimpanzee stress hormone responses to fragmented, anthropogenic landscapes. Before completing my MSc, I worked with the Borneo Nature Foundation contributing to biodiversity surveys and long-term orangutan, gibbon and red-langur behaviour projects. From 2016 onward I have worked as the Research Officer for a zoological park and as a Lecturer in Higher education, specialising in wildlife conservation. My particular interests revolve around the anthropogenic impacts humans can present to wild primates and how humans may alter zoo-housed primate behaviour, both impacting species conservation status and welfare. I began a PhD in Fall 2020 at the University of Lisbon.

Caroline Fryns

Chimpanzee Project Coordinator

May 2019 - July 2020

I received my Master’s degree in Biology from the University of Strasbourg (France) in 2016, focusing on lizard sociality for her master’s thesis. Since graduating I have worked at the Tuanan Orangutan Research Project (TORP) in Borneo, Indonesia. My interests lie in primatology and social behaviour. I oversaw the chimpanzee project at Issa, making this the second great ape species on which I have worked.

Charlotte Bright

Researcher and Project Manager

January 2019 - November 2019

I received my Master’s degree in Biology from the University of Sheffield in 2016, focussing on behaviour and genetics in zebrafish. My interests strongly lie within the behavioural ecology of social species as well as related human-wildlife conflict issues. Since graduating, I have assisted on various research projects across Africa including spotted hyena feeding ecology in Zimbabwe, large carnivore behavioural ecology in Kasungu National Park, Malawi and chacma baboon social networking in Tsaobis, Namibia. With Bethan Mason, I over-saw research at GMERC until November 2019 when I was offered a PhD position with Simone Pika in the Comparative BioCognition (CBC) Group, Institute of Cognitive Science at the University of Osnabrück in Germany.