Primatologists to present ‘The Truth About Chimps’

Primatologists David Morgan and Crickette Sanz, co-directors of the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project, will present “The Truth About Chimps: An Ape’s View of the Congo Basin” at Western Carolina University on Friday, April 19.

The presentation, which is free and open to the public, will be held at 12:20 p.m. in the auditorium of the Natural Sciences Building.

The Goualougo Triangle Ape Project, initiated in 1999, works to promote the long-term conservation of chimpanzees and gorillas through applied conservation research, enhanced protection of ape populations and their habitats, and strengthening the local capacity to implement conservation programs. The project addresses threats apes face, including disease epidemics, commercial bushmeat hunting and mechanized logging.

Morgan, a 1992 graduate of WCU who completed his doctorate at Cambridge, worked at several zoological institutions including the Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoological Park and Busch Gardens in Tampa before accepting a research assistantship with the Mbeli Bai Gorilla Project in the Nouabale-Ndoki National Park of the Republic of Congo. He then started a chimpanzee study in the Goualougo Triangle and has worked on collaborative studies aimed at improving the conservation status of chimpanzee and gorilla populations across Africa. He serves on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Primate Specialist Group on Great Apes and is a founding member of the A.P.E.S. database initiative

Sanz earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Central Washington University and completed her doctorate at Washington University in St. Louis, where she is now an assistant professor of physical anthropology. She worked at the Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute before embarking on research on the behavioral ecology of wild chimpanzees in the Goualougo Triangle of the Republic of Congo. She also worked as a research fellow in the Primatology Department of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. Sanz is a research associate of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s International Program in Republic of Congo and an active member of IUCN’s Primate Specialist Group on Great Apes.

The researchers’ presentation at WCU is sponsored by the biology and psychology departments and a visiting scholars grant.

For more information, contact Hal Herzog, professor of psychology, at 828-227-3360 or