Paleo-Primate Project Gorongosa Newsletter - February 2020

Paleo-Primate Project Gorongosa Newsletter - February 2020

Welcome to the inaugural newsletter for the Paleo-Primate Project Gorongosa. From now on, we shall be distributing a newsletter once a month 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
PPPG team members have been very active in 2019!
ESHE September 2019

Our team members have been very busy over the past year presenting their research at international scientific meetings, including the Conference of the Gesellschaft für Primatologie in Göttingen and the Meeting of the European Society for Human Evolution in Liège.

Image: Kerris Chappell-Smith discussing her research with Professor Bernard Wood at ESHE in September 2019 - Kerris is currently working on two publications from her undergraduate thesis

PPPG annual meeting updates
EFP-PSGB September 2019

On Wednesday 29th January, we had our annual team meeting. Thank you for all those who joined us (either in person or via Skype). It was a great chance to catch up with one another and share news and updates regarding ongoing research within the project and the upcoming field season.

Image: Some of our team members at the recent European Federation of Primatology and Primate Society of Great Britain Conference in Oxford, September 2019

Annual reports reminder
PPPG team reports

Following a fantastic field season, just a reminder to senior team members to please submit your annual reports as soon as possible, if you have not done so already. The reports will be very useful for drafting future grant applications for the PPPG, helping us to further develop and expand the project! 

Image: Paleo-Primate Project Gorongosa Compilation of 2018 Field Reports

Mozambican student updates
Rassina at the University of Girona

Rassina Assane Farassi has begun a Master's in Primatology at the University of Girona. Meanwhile, Clara Mendes is in Kenya attending the Turkana Basin Institute and Stony Brook University 'Origins Field School' from January to April with a full scholarship. Jacinto Mathe is working on his research project as part of the Master's in Forensic Anthropology at the University of Coimbra and considering PhD programmes.

Image: Rassina's first day at the University of Girona with her classmates and two of her professors

Ongoing work with the Gorongosa fossils
Thomas Puschel data collection

Whilst the field season may be over, work on the Gorongosa fossil collection continues. Thomas Püschel has been working on photogrammetry for many of our Gorongosa fossils and is building 3D models of them. He recently spent several weeks at the Nairobi National Museum in Kenya studying comparative collections and scanning material for comparison.

Image: 3D models of a bovid fossil tooth (top), hyrax mandible (bottom), pictured alongside Thomas Püschel collecting data in Nairobi

Planning begins for the next field school
Oxford-Gorongosa Paleo-Primate Field School

We recently held an information session in Oxford for students interested in attending the upcoming Oxford-Gorongosa Paleo-Primate Field School. We have received a number of letters of motivation from interested students and will be holding interviews and making the final selection shortly after, allowing successful candidates time to apply for funding to assist with the trip.

Image: Advertisement poster for the Oxford-Gorongosa Paleo-Primate Field School information session

New Paleo-Primate building progress
Paleo-Primate lab progress

Thanks to the hard work of the construction team in Chitengo, the new Paleo-Primate building is coming along nicely. The baboons and vervet monkeys are often spotted hanging out nearby - they clearly approve! The building is on track to be ready for the upcoming field season.

Image: The Paleo-Primate building as of 4th February 2020 (photo courtesy of Marc Stalmans)


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