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Friday, June 1, 2012
Tutaonana Mwaka Kesho (See You Next Year!)
After a wonderful morning out with Eliza and her son, Eriki, we’ve spent the afternoon meeting our data collection teams and getting various business wrapped up for the trip. Time always seems too short at Gombe, but this trip seems especially so since we had only 5 days in the park!
We will leave early in the morning when the lake water is calm (like the scene pictured above) to travel back into town and begin our long journey back. I will return next summer, but for now I turn my focus to wrapping up my last few weeks at the Lincoln Park Zoo.
I remember my very first trip to Gombe after I started working at the zoo. I was accompanied by Steve Thompson and Joanne Earnhardt, who had never seen wild chimpanzees before. Since then, we have implemented our research projects on ecosystem health and mother-infant behavior and greatly improved our understanding of the factors influencing chimpanzee health and development.
I remain incredibly grateful to the zoo for getting involved in and supporting this research. By supporting field projects like the ones at Gombe and also in the Goualougo Triangle, Lincoln Park Zoo makes important contributions to protecting and understanding wild apes.
Elizabeth Lonsdorf, Ph.D., is wrapping up her excellent, much-appreciated tenure as director of the Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes.
Gombe Field Diaries
Lincoln Park Zoo is partnering with the Jane Goodall Institute to study and conserve chimpanzees in Tanzania’s Gombe National Park, the site of Jane Goodall’s groundbreaking research. Our Gombe field diaries feature updates as scientists monitor chimpanzee health, study ape behavior and experience life in Gombe.
As director of the Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes, Lonsdorf leads Lincoln Park Zoo efforts in Gombe National Park.
Rachel Santymire, Ph.D.
An endocrinologist in the Davee Center for Epidemiology and Endocrinology, Santymire studies stress and reproduction in Gombe's chipmanzees.
A graduate student in the Committee on Evolutionary Biology at the University of Chicago, Matt is studying how levels of play in Gombe¹s chimpanzees influence stress, development and reproductive success.
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