Senior Researchers

Richard Wrangham (PhD, Cambridge University, 1975) is Ruth B. Moore Professor of Biological Anthropology at Harvard University and founded the Kibale Chimpanzee Project in 1987. He has conducted extensive research on primate ecology, nutrition, and social behavior. He is best known for his work on the evolution of human warfare, described in the book Demonic Males, and on the role of cooking in human evolution, described in the book Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human. Together with Elizabeth Ross, he co-founded the Kasiisi Project in 1997, and serves as a patron of the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP).

Martin N. Muller (PhD, University of Southern California, 2002) is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico. He has worked with KCP since 1996, serving as Co-Director since 2004. His research focuses on the relationship between ecology, physiology, and behavior in chimpanzees and humans. He has published extensively on the causes and consequences of aggressive behavior in chimpanzees, and co-directs the Hominoid Reproductive Ecology Laboratory at UNM.

Melissa Emery Thompson (PhD, Harvard University, 2005) is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico and has worked with KCP since 2000. Her research focuses on hormone-behavior interactions and life history variation in chimpanzees and other apes. She co-directs the Hominoid Reproductive Ecology Laboratory at UNM where she coordinates KCP’s physiology and health research programs.

Zarin Machanda (PhD, Harvard University, 2009) is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Tufts University and has worked with KCP since 2005. Her research focuses on the evolution of male-female social relationships in primates, examining the function of such relationships and how they are formed and maintained. Machanda coordinates the long-term KCP database and archive and serves on the board of directors for the Kasiisi Project.

Katie Slocombe (PhD, University of St. Andrews, 2005) is a Senior Lecturer at the University of York. Her research focuses on vocal communication in chimpanzees and how this can inform the understanding of the evolution of human language. She oversees research on communication and social cognition at KCP.



Moreen Uwimbabazi (Makerere University). Moreen studies the nutritional ecology of female chimpanzees at Kanyawara and is a Leakey Foundation Baldwin Fellow.

Drew Enigk (University of New Mexico). Drew visited Kibale for the first time in 2013 and is interested in adolescent chimpanzees and how they adapt to the adult social world.

Kris_fieldKris Sabbi (University of New Mexico). Kris is currently analyzing data on infant and juvenile chimpanzee social behavior for her dissertation project examining the development of sex-typed social strategies.

Erik Scully (Harvard University). Erik is interested in the dynamics of disease transmission within and between chimpanzee groups and the role of testosterone in male behavior.

Nick Brazeau (Harvard University Fulbright Scholar). Nick has developed our photogrammetry program, using parallel laser photography to non-invasively assess body growth in wild chimpanzees. Currently a medical student at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Recent Graduates

Jessica Hartel (PhD, University of Southern California, 2015). Social dynamics of intragroup aggression and conflict resolution in wild chimpanzees.


Pawel Fedurek (PhD, University of York, 2013). Male chimpanzee vocal interactions and social bonds. Currently a postdoctoral scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology studying vocal behavior in wild chimpanzees at Budongo, Uganda.

Julie Rushmore (PhD, University of Georgia, 2013). Social and ecological drivers of pathogen transmission dynamics in East African great apes. Currently a DVM candidate at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia.

Alexander Georgiev (PhD, Harvard University, 2012). Energetic costs of reproductive effort in male chimpanzees. Currently a lecturer in biology at Bangor University, Wales.

Sonya Kahlenberg (PhD, Harvard University, 2006). Female-female competition and male sexual coercion in Kanyawara chimpanzees. Currently Director of the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education (GRACE) Center for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

Paco Bertolani (PhD, University of Cambridge).

Conservation Team

Elizabeth Ross (PhD, Edinburgh University) founded the Kasiisi Project in 1997 to provide educational resources to schools surrounding the Kibale National Park in Uganda. She is currently the Executive Director of the Kasiisi Project and has greatly expanded the programs of the Kasiisi Project to include scholarships, literacy programs, teacher training, nutrition programs, health education, conservation education, and sustainable energy programs.

Jessica Hartel (PhD, University of Southern California) is Director of the Kibale Snare Removal Program, coordinating fundraising activities, needs assessment, and data collection. She teaches in the Department of Biology at University of North Georgia.

Caroline Riss (JD, Colby College) is the Assistant Co-Director of Kasiisi Project, and currently an Administrative Law Judge in Montana.

Francis Rwabuhinga (MA, Makerere University) is the Conservation Education Coordinator for Kibale Snare Removal Program and the Kasiisi Project. Francis attended Kasiisi Primary School and was a Kasiisi Scholar before graduating from Makerere University in 2013. He now organizes educational programs about forest and chimpanzee conservation in communities around Kibale Forest. Francis received the 2013 Conservation Award from the American Society of Primatologists and the International Primatological Society’s 2013 Charles Southwick Conservation Education Commitment Award and was named Educator of the Month by the Primate Education Network.

Field Team

Emily Otali (PhD, Makerere University) is the Field Director of the Kibale Chimpanzee Project, directing the daily activities of the field team and long-term data collection. In this capacity, Emily also oversees the snare removal program and serves as Field Director of the Kasiisi Project. Emily has spent more than 15 years at Kanyawara, beginning with her dissertation research on chimpanzee mother-infant behavior.

Kibale Chimpanzee Project Field Team: Bashil Musabe, Seezi Atwijuze, Steven Alio, James Kyomuhendo, Fred Baguma, Wilberforce Tweheyo.

Kibale Snare Removal Project Field Team:
Opio, Innocent, Evaristo, Augustine, Simon, Paul, Herbert, Patrick, and Solomon.

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