Paleo-Primate Project Gorongosa Newsletter - June 2020

Paleo-Primate Project Gorongosa Newsletter - June 2020

Welcome to the June 2020 edition of our monthly newsletter for the Paleo-Primate Project Gorongosa. We hope that you are all okay and keeping well. Please have a read of the updates from the past month and do get in touch and share any news and progress of your own, academic or otherwise - we would love to hear from you and spread some much welcome positivity!

News and Updates
Congratulations to Drs Manthi and Carvalho!
Drs Manthi and Carvalho

We are delighted to share that Dr Fredrick Kyalo Manthi and Professor Susana Carvalho have been awarded the Africa Oxford Initiative's Research Development Award to fund knowledge exchange work for the PPPG involving the study of Late Miocene collections at the National Museums of Kenya in Nairobi where Dr Manthi is head of the Division of Paleontology.

Image: We congratulate Drs Manthi and Carvalho and look forward to hearing the results of their work

Primate adaptations and evolution in the Southern African Rift Valley
New publication in Evolutionary Anthropology

We are pleased to report that René, Felipe, and Susana's publication on the Wenner-Gren Workshop at Gorongosa National Park, 'Primate adaptations and evolution in the Southern African Rift Valley', has now been published in the May/June issue of Evolutionary Anthropology. There are a few differences with the online version that was distributed previously, so please check out the final version in the new issue.

Image: 'Primate adaptations and evolution in the Southern African Rift Valley', first published online in March 2020

Updated aims and goals for 2020-21
Sunset over the floodplain in Gorongosa National Park

Following René and Susana's latest email update to the PPPG team, whilst this year's field season will not be possible, we urge all of our colleagues to use this time to continue to analyse the data accumulated over the past few years in Gorongosa National Park and work on publications and grant proposals. A shared aims and goals for 2020-21 document has been distributed to team members for them to review and edit as appropriate.

Image: Sunset over the floodplain in Gorongosa National Park - a view we shall be missing for a little longer still

Rainy season data downloaded from the radio collared baboons
Lynn Lewis-Bevan and Philippa Hammond downloading GPS data from the radio collared baboons during the 2019 season

All the data from the four radio collared baboons in Lynn and Philippa's study troops have now been downloaded thanks to the great help of Jason Denlinger - we will finally know where they range during the rainy season! We are starting to organise an archive to host all the PPPG data so that it can be accessible remotely and allow for longitudinal studies. One postdoctoral researcher should be in place next year to focus on this database.

Image: Lynn and Philippa downloading GPS data from the radio collared baboons during the 2019 season

Conversations in Human Evolution with Susana Carvalho
Conversations with Professor Susana Carvalho, featured on the Conversations in Human Evolution blog

Susana was recently interviewed by Archaeology PhD student Lucy Timbrell for her blog, Conversations in Human Evolution - a new public engagement initiative aimed at highlighting and exploring the diversity of human evolution studies, through fun and educational interview-style blog posts. You can check out Susana's interview (and a great many others) here and get involved in this outreach project yourself here

Image: Conversations with Professor Susana Carvalho, featured on the Conversations in Human Evolution blog

New Primate Conversations available online
Primate Conversations Seminar Series YouTube channel logo

Online streaming has enabled greater access to some fantastic resources, including Primate Conversations, the popular research seminars co-organised by graduate students in Susana's Primate Models for Behavioural Evolution Lab at the University of Oxford. Visit the new Primate Conversations Seminar Series YouTube channel to view the recent talks with Maegan Fitzgerald, Alex Mielke, and Ammie Kalan.

Image: Primate Conversations - whilst physical events may have been cancelled worldwide, the conversations continue

To notify us of anything you would like to be included in the next newsletter, please email Megan at