The Project members
We are a group of academics and conservationists collaborating on studies of the colobus in Zanzibar
Dr Alexander Georgiev (Director ZRCP, Bangor University)
Alex is a behavioural ecologist and biological anthropologist interested in the reproductive ecology and physiology of primates, and the way in which these are shaped by natural selection and anthropogenic changes in the environment. Since 2017, he's been working with the Zanzibar red colobus at Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park in Zanzibar.
More about his work at: https://www.alexandergeorgiev.co.uk/
Zoe Melvin (Field Manager and Long-term Data Collection Coordinator)
In addition to working on her PhD dissertation at Bangor University (scroll down to read more about that), Zoe is currently responsible for managing our work in the field. She provides training, support and supervision to our local Field Assistants and undergraduate and masters students from Bangor University, and assists visiting external PhD students. Zoe oversees the collection and curation of long-term data for the ZRCP across multiple groups of colobus. Finally, she also acts as project liaison with National Park authorities and community organisations. In her spare time (!?) she somehow also manages to keep working on her ever-more-fluent Swahili.
Email: Twitter: @Zoe_Melvin
Dr Tim Davenport (Wildlife Conservation Society - Tanzania Program)
Tim is the director of Species Conservation - Africa for the WCS and is a conservationist working to protect habitats and species across Tanzania including Zanzibar. He led the most complete census of the Zanzibar red colobus (Davenport et al. 2019 Oryx) which revealed the extent of the threats this species faces on Unguja Island.
Professor Julia Jones (Bangor University)
Julia is a conservation scientist interested in conservation impact evaluation (using quasi-experimental approaches, experimental approaches and participatory impact evaluation) and the impacts of conservation interventions (including agri-environment schemes, Payments for Ecosystem Services, community forest management, protected areas and biodiversity offsets).
Professor Jon Blount (University of Exeter)
Jon is one of the world’s foremost experts on studies of oxidative stress in wild animals from an eco-evolutionary perspective. His laboratory at the University of Exeter provides state-of-the-art facilities and crucial expertise for analyses of urine samples of colobus for markers of oxidative stress.
Dr Nelson Ting (University of Oregon)
Nelson is an ecological genomicist who has conducted extensive research on endangered colobus monkeys across Africa in order to aid in their conservation. He is also a lead editor in the Red Colobus Conservation Action Plan (ReCAP), where he helped develop conservation priorities for the East African red colobus taxa. More about Nelson's research can be found at: https://molecular-anthro.uoregon.edu/TingLab/
Zoe Melvin (PhD student, Bangor University)
Zoe is a PhD student at Bangor University with NERC's ENVISION Doctoral Training Partnership in collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Society studying the effects of habitat disturbance on colobus oxidative stress levels and the potential impact of accumulating oxidative damage on individual fitness. She received her undergraduate degree in Zoology from Cardiff University and has over two and half years conducting research in primate behavioural ecology and conservation in Africa.
Harry Olgun (MScRes student, Bangor University)
Harry is studying the road ecology of the colobus. As one of the main roads on the island intersects the home range of multiple social groups in and around Jozani-Chwaka Bay National Park, colobus often get hit by vehicles as they cross that road. Harry's work aims to quantify the risk vehicles pose to the monkeys and identify the factors that drive group movements across the road. This research will serve to identify if any solutions might help reduce the risk to monkeys on the roads.
Jenneca McCarter (PhD student, University of Oregon)
Jenneca is interested in utilising genetic and social science approaches to understand how land-use impacts the viability of wild primate populations, with the goal of creating data meaningful for conservation management. She has an undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Arkansas, an MSc in Conservation Biology from the University of Cape Town, and several years of experience working with primates in both wild and zoological settings. Jenneca will study the landscape genetics of the Zanzibar red colobus under the supervision of Dr Nelson Ting at the University of Oregon.
Alice-Ruth Davies (BSc Zoology with Conservation)
Alice-Ruth is doing her 3rd year honours research dissertation on the feeding ecology of the Zanzibar red colobus. She is analysing feeding data collected by the Project since 2018 to examine the dietary breadth of this species across multiple study groups and how it relates to changes in monthly rainfall (as a proxy for habitat productivity).
Kate Hampson (BSc Zoology, Bangor University)
Kate's dissertation work focuses on the interactions between the colobus and the Sykes' (white-throated guenon) monkeys at Jozani. In July - August 2019, Kate followed groups of monkeys travelling alone and in a two-species association both in the forest and in the agricultural mosaics surrounding the forest. She collected data on their activity budgets, vocalisations, interactions and movements. Kate is currently analysing these data for her dissertation back in Bangor.
Carys L'Estrange (BSc Zoology with Conservation, Bangor University)
Carys' dissertation research took her to Zanzibar in the summer of 2019, where she followed female colobus in two of our study groups. One of the main questions she wanted to address was wether differences in maternal reproductive investment affect female activity budgets and social interactions. She is now analysing her data by comparing the behaviour of mothers of young infants to that of mothers of older infants and of females without any dependant offspring.
Zoe Rule (BSc Zoology, Bangor University)
For her honours project, Zoe studied the feeding ecology of the colobus in the summer of 2019. She collected data on feeding times and feeding tree patch use to examine the relationship between the size of the feeding trees the colobus feed in and the amount of time they are able to spend there. Zoe followed two groups that differed significantly in their size to test if larger groups experienced greater levels of scramble feeding competition.
Ali first worked with the colobus in Zanzibar in the early 1990s and has a detailed understanding of their ecology and behaviour. He lives in one the villages near the national park so is also personally familiar with the challenges of balancing wildlife conservation with the economic needs of people in the area. He is helping us with collection of long-term data on the colobus feeding ecology and ranging.
M. E. Landry Green
Landry completed her MZool Degree at Bangor University in 2019 and joined the ZRCP as a volunteer research assistant soon after. With her expertise in spatial data analysis she is currently involved with managing our long-term colobus ranging data. In her 3rd year dissertation Landry investigated phylogenetic incongruence in snakes and for her Masters research project she tested the biogeographic role of primates in the transmission of Ebola virus in Africa. In her rare and therefore precious spare time, she devotes her life to her dog, Ronnie.
Ann-Sophie Warkentin (MScRes in Biological Sciences, Bangor University, 2019)
Ann-Sophie completed her dissertation research in 2019 and her work examined the effect of tourist presence on the behaviour of Zanzibar red colobus at Jozani-Chwaka Bay National Park. In her field study she followed two groups of monkeys - one visited by tourists on a daily basis, and another that was hardly ever visited. Ann-Sophie compared how the activity budgets and rates of self-directed behaviours (rough self-scratching) differs between these two groups and whether the presence and behaviour of tourists can explain these differences. She also conducted a systematic review of the literature on the effects of primate tourism on primates. Ann-Sophie is currently working on turning her dissertation into manuscripts for submission to peer-review.