Paleo-Primate Project Gorongosa Newsletter - March 2020

Paleo-Primate Project Gorongosa Newsletter - March 2020

Welcome to the second newsletter for the Paleo-Primate Project Gorongosa. From now on, we shall be distributing a monthly newsletter containing updates from the field, details of new and forthcoming publications from team members, grant submission progress, presentations connected to the PPPG, and important dates for the calendar.

News and Updates
New publication in Evolutionary Anthropology
New publication in Evolutionary Anthropology

René, Felipe and Susana have published a paper on the Paleo-Primate Project Gorongosa and the memorable Wenner-Gren Foundation Workshop on 'Primate Adaptations to Complex Environments' which took place in Gorongosa National Park over the summer. Check out the full text here and please share widely with colleagues!

Image: 'Primate adaptations and evolution in the Southern African Rift Valley', published online 10th March 2020

Celebrating women and girls in science
women and girls in science day

Tuesday the 11th February marked the International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2020. In the Primate Models for Behavioural Evolution Lab, we celebrated by featuring some of the amazing scientists we work alongside, including a number who conduct research in Gorongosa National Park. Here's to all the women and girls in science, and especially those that helped pave the way for us all.

Image: Highlighting just some of the many inspiring women who we work with as part of the PPPG

Annual reports reminder
PPPG team reports

Thank you to senior team members who have already submitted their annual reports. If you are yet to submit yours, could you please do so by Tuesday 31st March, in order to allow Susana to renew the PPPG's permit in Maputo by early June.

Image: The compilation of PPPG field reports from 2018



Mozambican student updates
Clara and Rassina update

Clara Mendes continues her immersion at the Turkana Basin Institute and Stony Brook University 'Origins Field School' and has now been very well trained in Geology/Palaeontology. Meanwhile, Rassina has been learning how to record chimpanzee behaviour in the MONA Foundation which provides a sanctuary for rescued chimpanzees and other primates.

Image: Clara enjoying the field school in Kenya (left) and Rassina at the MONA Foundation sanctuary (right)


Heavy rains in Gorongosa National Park
Gorongosa flooding comparison

Whilst we love to complain about the rain in the UK, the rain in Gorongosa over the past few weeks has been something else! There were reports of over 200 mm of rain in 24 hours on 12th February alone. Lynn Lewis-Bevan and Philippa Hammond hope to investigate how baboons in Gorongosa National Park respond to this extreme change in environment using GPS data from collared individuals.

Image: A palm tree near Lion House on 4th Feb (top) and then on 16th Feb 2020 (bottom) - photos by Lee Bennett

First students selected for the upcoming field school
Oxford-Gorongosa Paleo-Primate Field School

During February, we interviewed a number of students for the Oxford-Gorongosa Paleo-Primate Field School 2020. We have now selected the students who will travel from Oxford for the field school. The group comprises individuals studying for a range of degree programmes, including Human Sciences, Biological Sciences, Archaeology & Anthropology, and Cognitive & Evolutionary Anthropology.

Image: Oxford-Gorongosa Paleo-Primate Field School logo


Further progress to the new Paleo-Primate building
Paleo-Primate lab progress

Work continues on the new Paleo-Primate building. Though not much time has passed since our last update, the progress is visible. Despite the recent heavy rain, the building is still on track to be ready for the upcoming field season.

Image: The Paleo-Primate building as of 19th February 2020 - photo by Marc Stalmans



Gorongosa Coffee now ships internationally
Gorongosa coffee

Good news if you are missing the park and its coffee - as well as continuing to be shipped all across the US, Gorongosa Coffee is now available to purchase online in Europe, Australia, South Africa, and Brazil. Click here to visit the website and browse the available blends. This is a fantastic (and very tasty) initiative so be sure to share with friends and family!

Image: The Gorongosa Trio of signature blends: Speak for the Trees (dark roast), Girls Run the World (medium roast), and Elephants Never Forget (light roast)


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