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Meet the Training School’s Administration (Organization Committee)


Rachel Ashegbofe Ikemeh is the creator/founder of the African Primatologists Training School. She is currently the Chief Executive/Director of the SW/Niger Delta Forest Project, Nigeria. With about 15 years of experience in biodiversity conservation; her work has involved different levels of conservation research, biomonitoring and project management. As a passionate trainer, she has trained protection staff and graduate interns in biomonitoring and wildlife management in her project sites during which she developed a technical manual to institutionalize the training program and regime. She has also been instrumental in developing and implementing biodiversity action plans, management plans and species-based conservation plans both for the private sector – oil and agricultural multinational industries – governments and iNGOs. Rachel is a member of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development Education Working Group and Climate Change Caucus. She is also one of the founders of the African Primatological Society (APS) and co-vice chair of the IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group African section and member of the International Primatological Society (IPS) conservation committee. Rachel is also the convener/facilitator of the Women in Primatology group – a new international professional association for female primatologists and aspiring primatologists in the world.


Jo Setchell has a PhD in Zoology from the University of Cambridge and is Professor of Anthropology at Durham University, UK. She has studied sexual selection and reproduction in primates for more than 20 years. Her research programme integrates methods from ethology, morphology, demography, genetics, endocrinology, health, and semiochemistry. Most of her work has focused on a semifree-ranging colony of mandrills at the Centre International de Recherches Médicales, Franceville (CIRMF), Gabon. Jo also works on human/wildlife interactions and biodiversity conservation. She promotes an interdisciplinary approach to conservation, integrating ethnography with more traditional natural science approaches. Jo teaches evolutionary anthropology at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and has received awards for doctoral supervision. She edited Field and Laboratory Methods in Primatology with Debbie Curtis and is currently writing a book on “How to Study Primates”.

Jo is Editor-in-Chief of the International Primatological Society and Vice President (Research) of the International Primatological Society. She is a member of the Primate Society of Great Britain and has served on council and on the Conservation Working Party. She is committed to advancing equality and diversity in primatology and in academia.

Dr. Grainne McCabe is a biological anthropologist and conservation biologist, specialising in primate behaviour and ecology. She is currently the Head of Field Conservation and Science for the Bristol Zoological Society in England. Her previous research has focused on the reproductive ecology of wild monkeys in both Costa Rica (white-faced capuchins) and Tanzania (Sanje mangabeys). Dr McCabe now oversees the Bristol Zoological Society’s global conservation projects, with a focus on their projects in Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Tanzania and Costa Rica, and directs the higher education provision, in association with their partner universities.



Dr. Carolyn Robinson is an Assistant Professor of Biological Anthropology at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. As a primatologist and anthropologist, she is interested in the relationships between humans, nonhuman primates, and other wildlife in coupled human-natural systems. Her research spans topics of primate and ungulate behavioral and ecological adaptation to human disturbances (e.g. oil palm, fragmentation, logging, and hunting), human-wildlife conflict, and the relationships between human and forest health. Her primary research sites are in the Dzanga Sangha Protected Areas Complex (APDS), Central African Republic and Korup National Park, South West, Cameroon. As a researcher she works to integrate anthropology and conservation biology to develop innovative applications of primatology to the biological, evolutionary, and sustainability sciences. Using mixed-methodological approaches that include both qualitative and quantitative data we can fill critical gaps in our understandings of the role of humans in biodiversity loss and conservation. She has trained more than 35 students in ecological monitoring, primatological, and ethnographic research methodologies. Many of these individuals have gone on to higher education programs and to work on internationally funded conservation research projects.

Dr. Mauricio Talebi is an Associate Professor at Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP) São Paulo, Brazil. He is a specialist on the critically endangered Southern Muriqui monkeys, the largest Neotropical Primate and one of the most endangered species in the world. Main expertise is on primate ecology and conservation including best practices for endangered species and strategies for species management within planted and or native forests. Long-term experience on national and international fundraising on biodiversity conservation and endangered species. Academic expertise includes animal behavior, ecology and primate conservation, building capacity, field courses, private conservation, conservation threats, environmental analysis, biodiversity surveys, mitigating factors for threats on biodiversity and habitats. Conservation Biology.

Prof. Ogunjemite is the head, Department of Ecotourism and Wildlife Management, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria. He has over two decades of teaching and research in Wildlife Ecology with special interest in Primate Community Ecology. His PhD was on the ecology of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes ellioti) in the rainforest of Southwest Nigeria. He has published widely and his works are well referenced. He has also worked on the Erythrogaster monkeys (Cercopithecus erythrogaster erythogaster and C erythrogaster pococki), the Red-capped mangabey (Cercocebus torquatus), the White-thighed black and white colobus (Colobus vellerosus) and the Mona (Cercopithecus mona) monkeys. He has supervised more than twenty five students at Masters and PhD levels. He is a member of the IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group for Africa, the Editor-in-Chief, Ecological Society of Nigeria (EcSON), Member Forestry Association of Nigeria (FAN) and Association of Critical Heritage Studies (ACHS) in Nigeria.

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