Meet The Team

Current Researchers and Students


Marilen Gabel

Bsc student, University of Van Hall Larenstein (The Netherlands)

February 2022 - Present

My name is Marilen Gabel. I am a German student, studying “Wildlife Management” in Dutch and English at the University of Applied Science Van Hall Larenstein in the Netherlands. I am currently in my second year of my BS. In order to find the right specialization for my major and Bachelor thesis I have come to Issa Valley to experience how research can be done in the field. First, I will be helping with all the projects that are currently running at Issa Valley to get a better idea of my interests. I then will be helping several researchers to collect data who came to Issa Valley for their own projects. When my internship ends in July, I am hoping to have gained enough experience in different research methods and tools so that I will be able to start my own research project. 


Payton Sime

Research student, University of California, Santa Cruz

September 2021 - Present

My name is Payton Sime. I graduated from the University of California Santa Cruz with a BA in Biological Anthropology and a BS in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. I have been a part of the Chimpanzee Video Coding Team in the PEMA Lab at UCSC for the last three years where our goal is to "code" the camera trap footage captured in the Issa Valley. This entails recording the species, quantity and behaviour of the animals present in the videos and identifying the chimpanzees by name and age/sex whenever possible. Through this work I have become very familiar with the species and individual chimpanzees living there and am thrilled at the opportunity to put this knowledge to use in the field. During my time here, I will be assisting Seth Phillips with his graduate research concerning termite behaviour and availability as well as collecting preliminary video footage of the chimpanzees termite fishing for a future masters or graduate thesis.