Ben Lake


Conservation & Science


Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes


Research Assistant


B.F.A. – Biological Sciences, Minor in Chemistry, Illinois State University

Areas of Expertise

  • Chimpanzee habituation
  • Chimpanzee behavior
  • Thermal imaging


After graduating college in 2010, Benjamin became an assistant project director for the Semliki chimpanzee in the Semliki Wildlife Reserve in Uganda, where he worked under Kevin Hunt, Ph.D. There, he habituated and researched group sleep patterns in the Semliki chimpanzees.

After returning to the United States, he joined the Fisher Center as an intern gathering social spacing data on gorilla and chimpanzee groups at Regenstein Center for African Apes. After his internship was finished, he conducted research in the food industry and, later, developed paint formulas. Missing primatology, he returned to the Fisher Center and was hired as a research assistant for the collaborative work done at Chimp Haven. There, he works on microbiome research and developing welfare assessment methods using thermography.