Meet The Team

Current Researchers and Students


Frauke Olthoff

Researcher & Project Manager

December 2020 - present

Since December 2020 I have been the project manager at Issa, supporting ongoing and new research projects. In 2016 I obtained my Master’s degree in biochemistry at the University of Leipzig and continued my work as a research assistant for the biobanking of the long-term database of the Taï Chimpanzee Project at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. The opportunities lying in the combination of field work, good data management and new technologies intrigued me. In 2019/2020 I became a field research assistant for the Taï Chimpanzee Project in Ivory Coast focusing on behavioural data collection and data editing.

I am interested in the behavioural ecology of chimpanzees and how they respond to challenging habitats. Understanding behavioural adaptions of wildlife will play a key role in future conservation work. My goal is to continue this path in applied conservation and field management while supporting international research.


Simon Stringer


June 2021 - Present

My background is in Conservation Biology and Ecology. My research

interests are wide and varied, however I have a particular interest in

African forest systems and primate-plant interactions. My PhD focussed

on seed dispersal services of samango monkeys (Cercopithecus

albogularis schwarzi) in South Africa. My research at GMERC aims to

expand on my PhD and I hope to delve into fire ecology of Miombo

woodlands and how the fires affect animal behaviour.


Gal Badihi

PhD student, University of St. Andrews

June 2021 - Present

I’m a PhD researcher from the University of St Andrews. My main

interest is in the ways animal sociality shapes behaviour. Currently,

my research focuses on the use of gestural communication of East

African chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii). I am

particularly interested in how individual differences in socio-ecology

influence the use of gestures within and across different chimpanzee

communities in Tanzania and Uganda.