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ray vagell

On the Ground with Raymond Vagell

When did you first get interested in working with lemurs and what motivated you to undertake this work? I didn’t start working with lemurs until the beginning of last year (2014) when I was approached about an interesting study on color vision with the ruffed lemurs. Color vision is very important in primates; presumably, the ability to perceive red is advantageous for finding ripe fruits in ruffed lemurs as they are frugivores (fruit-eating animals). However, ruffed lemurs are interesting because males […]

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Fosa largest native carnivore

On the Ground in Madagascar with Asia Murphy

  First, can you describe your background and research focus? As an African-American born and raised in California, I shouldn’t be in this field. I shouldn’t have watched NatGeo wildlife documentaries or gone camping or raised butterflies. Fortunately, I was exposed to the world of wildlife through my dad, who loved animals. But my exposure to wildlife was still limited. I got to college (NC State) and was highly disappointed to realize that studying wildlife wasn’t just following them around […]

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Lisa with her research team in 2013.

On the Ground in Madagascar with Lisa Gould

When did you first get interested in working in Madagascar and what motivated you to undertake this work? I began studying ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) in 1987, after a trip to Madagascar in 1984. Hardly anyone was studying lemurs at that time, because Madagascar had been closed to foreign researchers in the 1970s and early 80s. Lemurs have always been completely fascinating to me. What projects are you currently working on that relate to lemurs or environmental conservation? Most recently, I and […]

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Valerie Torti RainyDay_IMG_0259

On the Ground in Madagascar with Valerie Torti

When did you first get interested in working with lemurs and conservation and what motivated you to undertake this work? After I started my studies in biology, I always assumed that I would eventually go to Africa and work on wildlife conservation, especially with primates. As it turns out, I ended up at the Ethology Lab at the University of Torino (Italy) where my interest for primates dramatically increased and improved, thanks to a bachelor’s thesis that involved vocal tract modeling in […]

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Sylviane Taking a pirogue to reach the study site

On the Ground in Madagascar with Sylviane Volampeno

When did you first get interested in working with lemurs and conservation and what motivated you to undertake this work? I was an undergraduate student at the University of Antananarivo when I first saw lemurs in the wild during a field trip to the Analamazaotra Special Reserve. During this trip, I learned that lemurs, which are endemic to Madagascar, play an important role in forest regeneration and in ecosystem preservation. Given the beauty and ecological importance of lemurs, I became motivated to […]

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On the Ground in Madagascar with Eleanor Stalenberg

  When did you first get interested in working with lemurs and conservation and what motivated you to undertake this work? I have always loved wildlife and found solace in the natural world. Growing up just outside of Sydney, Australia, I was surrounded by the iconic Australian bushland from a very young age. My mother cared for native wildlife that had been injured, like wombats, wallabies and turtles so that they could be released into the wild again. I developed […]

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On the Ground in Madagascar with Meredith Gore

  When did you first get interested in working with in Madagascar and what motivated you to undertake this work? I have been teaching and conducting research in Madagascar since 2008. I was originally offered the chance to take over the Madagascar study abroad program for Michigan State University (MSU) when I first arrived at the university and jumped at the chance. Also, in graduate school at Cornell, I had three very good friends who did Peace Corps in Madagascar and […]

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Melanie Seiler Me with sportive lemur

On the Ground in Madagascar with Melanie Seiler

When did you first get interested in working with lemurs and conservation and what motivated you to undertake this work? Working with animals, understanding their behavior, and conserving their natural habitat has been on my mind since I was a child – I always had lots of different pets, and my parents loved to watch various nature documentaries with me. It was always clear to me that I had to study biology, and that’s what I did. About 10 years ago, […]

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