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Researchers and Schedule

The number of personnel at camp can range but generally hovers between 8-12, including staff. There are always at least two people at camp at all times to prepare meals and remain vigilant over camp equipment. Field assistants (FAs) are all Tanzanian and have varying English abilities. Basic knowledge of Kiswahili is mandatory for all visitors and can be learned in country with concerted effort.  There is always someone on site whose duties include supervision of the team, administration of finances, driving for supplies, and overall project coordination from the ground.


The weekly schedule is available in advance. Research teams always consist of two people. All field assistants are familiar with and capable of collecting data on all the sub-projects, and so team-composition can vary daily. The chimpanzee and red-tailed teams almost always leave camp first, usually around 530am (sunrise is around 6-630am most of the year). Other teams (transects, phenology, etc.) leave ~ 7am. Workdays also vary in duration. On chimpanzee days, teams try to track a party for as long as possible and return in mid-afternoon only if the chimpanzees are lost, whereas red-tailed teams return between 630 and 730pm, once the monkeys have selected a sleeping site.

On short work days, teams conduct other work after returning to camp, including coding camera trap footage, charging batteries, working through data, or just catching up with the team (below). All data are via Open Data Kit, collected on Android devices.

For the primates, data are collected on numerous topics, including (but not restricted to): behaviour (diet, ranging, group size, etc.), demography, activity pattern, injury status. Additionally, data on plant phenology, large mammal sightings and human activity across the study area are also systematically recorded.


Natasha Ereira-Guyer and Mashaka Alimas follow chimpanzees through a drying riverbed (credit: N. Ereira-Guyer/GMERC)

Alex Piel and Rosie Lee sieving wildlife faeces

GMERC staff enjoying some down time at the station

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