Ph.D. magna cum laude, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI-EVA), Dept of Primatology & University of Leipzig, Faculty of Biosciences, Leipzig, Germany
Thesis: Genetic estimation of population size and group dynamics in wild-living western gorillas and central chimpanzees. (Supervisors: Drs. L. Vigilant & C. Boesch)
M.Sc., Department of Zoology (Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology Stream). University of Toronto, Canada
Thesis: A gain-of-function analysis of traffic jam, a transcription factor expressed in Drosophila and mouse gonads (Supervisor: Dr. D. Godt.)
Honours B.Sc. with High Distinction, University of Toronto, Canada
Specialist Program: Zoology; Minor Programs: Biological Anthropology & French
Work & Volunteer Experience
Co-director, Pan African Programme: The Cultured Chimpanzee (PanAf), Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI-EVA) and German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv).
Multi-disciplinary collaboration with an international network of 100+ researchers relating to animal ecology, evolution and conservation using state of the art technology and methods. Oversee the management, sharing and analysis of the PanAf data set, the largest-ever collected data set on chimpanzee habitats from over 40 temporary chimpanzee research sites across sub Saharan Africa.
Principal Investigator (PI) PanAf genetics and on-line citizen science platform Chimp&See.
co-PI PanAf genomics project, PanAf microbiome & diet project, and machine learning/AI platform for automated species detection from camera trap videos, ZambaCloud.
Independent Scientific Consultant. Design and review of survey and monitoring plans for resource extraction/ landscape change in West, Central and East Africa. Genetic population estimation of chimpanzee population size, number of groups, home range size and connectivity in areas of resource extraction.
Advisor to market research firms in the biomedical and biotech fields.
Program Coordinator/Scientist Pan African Programme: The Cultured Chimpanzee, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Establish temporary research sites and collaborative agreements with existing field sites, budgeting, grant writing, training of site managers, organization of workshops, oversight of field data collection, regular communication with field staff and collaborators across sub-Saharan Africa, public outreach and media relations.
Lead researcher of the PanAf genetics project and PanAf genomics project.
Lead researcher of the on-line citizen science camera trap analysis platform ChimpandSee.org.
Board of Directors, Cytophage
Board member for biotech start-up Cytophage Technologies Inc. (Winnipeg, Manitoba) focusing on bacteriophage technology to combat the antibiotic resistance crisis
Post-Doctoral Research fellow, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Extraction and microsatellite amplification of DNA from primate feces. Estimation of population size, kinship and population histories from microsatellite genotypes of savannah baboons and cross river gorillas. Supervision & training of undergraduate and graduate students in the laboratory.
Dr. Linda Vigilant, MPI-EVA
Research assistant, Taï Chimpanzee Project, Taï National Park, Côte d’Ivoire.
Nest to nest daily follows of habituated chimpanzees for fecal sample collection
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI-EVA) Conservation Group, founder. Projects have included: sustainable logging guideline development for Côte d’Ivoire, guideline development for bonobo reintroduction in DR-Congo, development of the conservation education program, Club P.A.N. in Côte d’Ivoire (clubpan.blogspot.com), Africa-wide poster campaign for orphan apes in the pet trade.
Laboratory assistant, Department of Zoology, University of Toronto, Canada
Designing and implementing experiments in Drosophila and Mus (breeding protocols, molecular analyses, antibody stainings, confocal microscopy), fly stock and laboratory maintenance.
Dr. Dorothea Godt University of Toronto.
Veterinary assistant, Bayview and Wychwood Animal Hospitals
Companion animal restraint for treatment, X-ray development, urine & feacal analyses, preparation of vaccines, administration of medications, setting up surgical area, prepping and monitoring animals during surgery, cleaning, feeding, bathing and walking of pets, maintenance of sanitary clinic and cages, administrative and retail
Dr. M. Heffernan (1999-2004), Dr. M. Levine (‘98-‘99) & Dr. N. Cooper (‘97-‘98)