Ramis and Mokedi Priva (~1964-2005) research assistant rest during 2002 census

Remis Research Group

I am a biological anthropologist who studies gorilla behavioral ecology and primate conservation in sub-Saharan Africa. Much of my research has focused on the feeding ecology, locomotion and nutrition of wild gorillas at the Dzanga-Sangha Forest Reserve, Central African Republic. I also maintain an experimentally based research program on the evolution of feeding strategies among the African apes which relies on research on captive apes in zoological facilities.

Melissa Remis and Jennifer Cooper clean up after Census work, Central African Republic 2002I am also working on a collaborative project on the impacts of multiple human disturbances on 5 groups of mammals (primates, carnivores, ungulates, rodents and shrews) in the Congo Basin. This research addresses both wildlife and human dimensions of ecosystem change. It contributes to our understanding of vulnerable ape populations, the ungulates and others which constitute the protein base for the region, changing subsistence patterns, hunting and logging practices and forest fragmentation.

Western lowland gorilla in treeMy long-term collaboration with cultural anthropologist, Dr. Rebecca Hardin of University of Michigan at Ann Arbor works to integrate both cultural and biological anthropological approaches to environmental anthropology, animal-human interaction and conflict. We collaborate with members of the University of Bangui, Ecosynergy group for integrative social and ecological science research on problems in the environment. We have trained US and Central African University students and local research assistants in ecological and anthropological field methods and analysis. We are analyzing 20 years of wildlife census and ethnographic data to understand the impact of conservation efforts on the human and wildlife populations in Dzanga-Sangha Forest and to contribute to improvements in international approaches to conservation management.

Logging mahogany tree in Central AfricaI am working with Purdue graduate student Lesley Daspit to develop more detailed ethnographic research on bushmeat sellers and consumers to try to better understand consumption of wild game in Central Africa and possibilities for change. I have also been involved with efforts to improve our understanding of the molecular genetics and conservation of Central African primate populations and recently with graduate student Sabrina Adleman begun study on the impacts of ecotourism on mountain gorillas in East Africa.

Western gorilla eats wild ginger Remis field camp Remis and Wonga track gorillas 1992 Remis and assistants Bai Hokou field camp 1992 Wonga Emile longterm research assistant tells a folktale about apes in the evening at Remis field camp 2002 Wren


Master's degree research conducted by recent graduate students in our research group:

Kim Linsendbardt Brei, MS 2004. Howler Monkey Habitat Use in Costa Rica

Sarah Schaefer, MS 2003. Impacts of Seasonality, Inter-annual Variability and Selective Logging on Forest Phenology at Bai Hokou, Central African Republic

Jennifer Cooper, MS 2001. Female social relationships among captive western lowland gorillas. Jenny is currently a PhD Student in Dr. Waser's lab in the Department of Biology at Purdue.

Recent Students:

Sabrina Adleman, received her MS in 2006 on the impacts of human activities and ecotourism on the ranging patterns of habituated and wild gorilla groups at Bwindi Forest, Uganda. Sabrina had also spent one year studying black handed spider monkeys in Costa Rica. Sabrina is currently pursuing doctoral studies in primatology and anthropology at City University of New York.

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