Department of Anthropology Undergrad Goes to the Chimps

Male chimpanzee
Aug. 28, 2015

Department of Anthropology undergraduate, Samantha Wylie, recently returned from a primatology field experience in Uganda, Africa. Wylie was lucky enough to spend 9 weeks at field school working with Dr. Kevin Hunt of Indiana University on the Semliki Chimpanzee Project near the Congo border.

While working at the project, Wylie had the incredible opportunity to work with chimpanzees at both the Semliki and Kanyawara sites. She was excited to report some amazing contact, including some very close quarter’s communication with an inquisitive juvenile at Kanyawara, further fueling her desire to attend graduate school with a focus on conservation and primatology research.

When asked what her biggest take away was from the experience, Wylie stated the importance of understanding both the chimpanzees and the people of Uganda, and Africa as a whole, on their own terms. “We need to increase infrastructure, funding, and research to help the people expand tourism. By better understanding the needs of African groups, we can improve the efforts of conservation outreach programs to reduce poaching of these amazing animals.”

The Department of Anthropology is very proud of Wylie, and congratulates her on this amazing achievement.