Bethan Morgan – San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research Central Africa Program
Dr. Morgan is head of the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research Central Africa Program, as well as a research fellow of the Zoological Society of San Diego. She oversees all aspects of the Institute’s activities in Central Africa, with a strong focus on the region between the Sanaga River in Cameroon and the Cross River in Nigeria, and manages research and conservation activities at two permanently manned research stations in the Ebo Forest, Cameroon, where the PIRE summer research schools will be held, and where the botanical garden experiment plots will be established. Her interests include the ecology and conservation of gorillas, chimpanzees, a wide variety of monkey species, as well as forest elephants and Central African botany. Bethan received her doctorate in 2000 from the Department of Biological Anthropology at the University of Cambridge, UK, investigating ecological niche separation in large-bodied mammalian frugivores, particularly forest elephants, gorillas, and chimpanzees in a remote rain forest reserve in Gabon. Upon completing her doctoral degree, she was a visiting fellow in the Biological Anthropology Department at Harvard University, and taught the core science course on human behavioral biology. She is a member of the IUCN Primate Specialist Group (Section for Great Apes), the International Primatological Society, and the Society for Conservation Biology, and holds the position of honorary research fellow in the Department of Psychology at the University of Stirling, Scotland.
Mary Katherine (Katy) Gonder – Drexel University
Dr. Gonder is an associate professor of biology at Drexel University. Her research is focused on examining the history of the Gulf of Guinea and Congo Basin rainforests, which are among the most important centers of biological diversity in the world. Currently, Dr. Gonder’s research can be divided into three major programmatic areas focused on: (1) understanding spatial patterns of biodiversity across Central Africa; (2) inferring the underlying evolutionary and ecological processes that generate the rich biodiversity of the region; and (3) helping to inform conservation strategies for the region that recognize and integrate evolutionary pattern and process. While the bulk of her research to date has emphasized primates–especially chimpanzees–the research is not taxon bound. Her research group is currently pursing research in a range of tropical vertebrates, with the explicit aim of improving biodiversity prediction and conservation in central Africa, a region that is undergoing rapid climatic and demographic change. Dr. Gonder has worked in central Africa for nearly twenty years, primarily in Cameroon and Nigeria, and more recently, in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. She has co-hosted a number of international technical workshops in central Africa, and serves as a member of the IUCN Primate Specialist Group (Section on Great Apes).
Alvine Dadjo - University of Yaoundé I
Alvine is interested in biodiversity and part of the Central African Biodiversity Alliance (CABAlliance) as a research assistant. She is master student at the University of Yaoundé I and her research focus is on the ecology of P. t. ellioti, with her field work on the chimpanzees in the Mount Cameroon National Park. Her main goal is to contribute to the sustainable management of biodiversity and natural resources, and to raise awareness about the significance of our rich but threatened biodiversity and specifically primates so as to preserve them for present and future generations.
Ekwoge Enang Abwe - Ebo Forest Research Project / Drexel University
Ekwoge is the project manager for the Ebo Forest Research Project in Cameroon and is currently a graduate student at Drexel University studying for his PhD. In 2013 he was awarded the Whitley Award for his conservation work in Cameroon. His current interest is to look at the sustainability of the bushmeat hunting and trade in and around the Ebo forest – the role of this on the biodiversity of the forest, the livelihoods of local people, the traders (wholesalers and retailers) as well as the final consumers in large cities.
Fabrice Kentatchime - Central African Biodiversity Alliance
Fabrice Kentatchime Is a research assistant/field biologist for the Central African Biodiversity Alliance (CABAlliance) and national coordinator of Synergy for Environmental Welfare (SEW). He holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Sciences from the Higher Institute of Environmental Sciences (HIES). Since 2013, he has carried out several field based research on biodiversity conservation, climate change, environmental health and agroforestry. Fabrice has worked on chimpanzee sampling throughout P. t. ellioti range.
Flaubert Mba - Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
Flaubert has a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Université des Montagnes in Bangangté, Cameroon and has been working as a research assistant in Mbam et Djerem National Park (MDNP) with Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) since March 2016. He takes part in activities against poaching in the area and is involved in data collection of chimpanzees. He is very interested in epizooties and premature detection of infectious agents within several different interfaces including: wild fauna-wild fauna, wild fauna-domestic fauna, wild fauna-humans, and transmission between humans.
Matthew Mitchell – Drexel University
Matt is a post-doctoral researcher at Drexel University. He received his Ph.D. working with Dr. Mary Katherine Gonder at the University at Albany – State University of New York. His research is focused on understanding the relationship between chimpanzee genetic diversity and patterns of speciation with environmental variability. Part of his dissertation research also involved investigating the differences in sex-specific patterns of chimpanzee social structure by using genetic markers. Matt has been working in Cameroon since 2011 with Dr. Gonder, collecting non-invasive chimpanzee fecal samples used for DNA extraction. He also holds a Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and incorporates a range of spatial modeling techniques into his research.
Paul Sesink Clee – Drexel University
Paul is a Ph.D. candidate studying with Dr. Mary Katherine Gonder at Drexel University. Paul completed his Masters research on ecological niche modeling of suitable habitat for chimpanzee populations in Cameroon and Nigeria as well as their niche evolution under threat of climate change. In addition to Cameroon, Paul has extensive fieldwork experience in South Africa’s Kruger National Park where he completed his undergraduate thesis and worked as a safari/field guide. He is now working in Cameroon and Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea studying the ecology of various diseases.
Serge Alexis Kamgang – Garoua Wildlife College, Cameroon/Université d'Abomey-Calavi, Benin
Serge is a lecturer at the Garoua Wildlife College in the Department of Mammology and Wildlife Management as well as a Ph.D. student at the University of Benin in Nigeria. He is studying the effects of habitat variation of the density and community structure of chimpanzees across a wide range of habitats within Mbam & Djerem National Park in Cameroon.