Student and Alumni Spotlights

Hailie Crowder
Junior sets a camera trap
Junior Amboko
MA Student

I am Junior Amboko, a field conservationist from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. I really love animals, yes, but I really love primates. I sometimes forget internet and socio-media conversations (WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook,) with my family and friends while I am out watching a group of Bonobos (Pan paniscus) in the canopy in the tropical rain forest. When trying to capture important behavior of what they do, like a female grooming her young, it sometimes gets me crazy. It makes me realize even more that we have the duty to protect them. 

I did not know until I started my master’s program in Anthropology the role that understanding the culture of people surrounding a protected area (Park) plays. I am lucky to be doing my master’s in Anthropology. By combining skills in conservation and anthropology, I have no doubt I will be well equipped to view conservation in a new way. This will reshape my behavior when it comes to applying my conservation skills. As a newcomer in the United States, I have to comply with a new culture in order to be integrated into a new society. It’s hard and amazing at the same time. The way the faculty members in the Anthropology Department have welcomed me has helped me overcome any fears I had. I have learned about Anthropology through the way they treat us in our classes. Thank you to the department and all of the nice people in it. I encourage others to come and join us in this lovely Department! 

Love Anthro!

Macarena Vargas
Macarena Vargas
Spring 2020 Graduate

Macarena Vargas (Spring 2020 graduate): I enjoyed the hands-on education I received while studying anthropology. I plan to further my education in the next few years and pursue a career in archaeology.

Sarah Crawford
Sarah Crawford
Anthropology Graduate

On May 30th, anthropology graduate student Sarah Crawford received notification of a research award from Sigma Xi  Grants-in-Aid of Research. The Sigma Xi grant program has a highly competitive application process and approximately 17% of applicants receive any level of funding. She was awarded the maximum amount of $1,000 for her research.

Sarah’s research focuses on the diets of the Cercopithecus monkeys at Gombe National Park (GNP), Tanzania. Her work explores differences in the diets of C. ascaniusC. mitis and the hybrid monkeys. Her work is multi-modal.  Part of the analysis requires translating Swahili field notes on guenon feeding into English and the input of data into spreadsheets.  She will also carry out fieldwork in Gombe National Park, working with research assistant Maneno Isa Mpongo to perform ten minute focal follows on individual monkeys.

This research will increase our scientific understanding of the ecological role that Cercopithecus monkeys play within Gombe and help build a more comprehensive database of the park’s ecology. It will also help us to understand if the hybrids have developed a separate dietary niche than their parental species, which can have future evolutionary implications.