Graduate Students

Elodie Freymann

Elodie Freymann

I am a third year DPhil student under the supervision of Dr Susana Carvalho, Dr Michael Huffman (Kyoto University), and Catherine Hobaiter (University of St. Andrews). My research focuses on identifying novel self-medicative resources used by the Sonso and Waibira chimpanzee communities in Budongo Forest using interdisciplinary methods. With my project I also seek to develop new methods for efficient identification of novel self-medicative resources, compare self-medicative resource use between communities,  and interrogate our ethical obligations when conducting this kind of research. 

Gabriella Kountourides

Gabriella Kountourides

Gabriella Kountourides is a DPhil student under the supervision of Dr Alexandra Alvergne. Her background is in zoology and human evolution. For her DPhil, she is using mixed methods to investigate whether premenstrual syndrome (PMS) in humans is the manifestation of environmentally induced inflammation. Through collaborations with the period tracker app, Clue and the Oxford Nuffield Hospital she has collected both digital ethnographic data, and lab samples to test her hypotheses.

Prior to starting her doctorate, she worked as a science educator at the Natural History Museum in London. She is passionate about science communication, reproducible research, and empowering women in science. 

Gabriella is undertaking a field-based internship with Care International in Thailand, until January 2023. She is researching how to optimise drug harm reduction programmes to make them more 'female friendly'.



jacinto mathe

Jacinto Mathe

I am a third-year DPhil student under the supervision of Dr René Bobe and Dr Susana Carvalho. My background is in Veterinary Medicine (BSc, Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo, Mozambique) and Forensic Anthropology (MSc, University of Coimbra, Portugal). I am interested in Human Evolution, Osteology, Taphonomy and Conservation Paleobiology. My DPhil research, funded by the Boise Trust Scholarship (Oxford), is focused on the last frontiers of the African Rift Valley and the environments of human origins. I am using osteological samples across different landscapes in Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique, to conduct ecological analyses of the bones. This approach will provide valuable information for conservation efforts and establish links between modern landscapes and the African fossil record.

Jana Muschinski photographed in Gorongosa National Park

Jana Muschinski

Jana is a final year DPhil student under the supervision of Dr Susana Carvalho. Her background is primarily in lithics and zooarchaeology, with additional training in primate cognition. Her primary research interests are in behavioural variation, social transmission, tool-use, and culture in primates, and in domestication and human-animal relationships. Jana’s DPhil research is on behavioural diversity in baboons, involving a cross-site comparison of baboon approach behaviour from video data from Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique and Gombe Stream Research Centre, Tanzania, in collaboration with Dr Anthony Collins (see project details here). Jana is also a part-time Research Officer with Dogs Trust, working on researching the human perception of dog behaviour.

João d'Oliveira Coelho

MSc João d’Oliveira Coelho is a self-taught programmer with an academic background in biological anthropology. João did his masters in human evolution and biology at the University of Coimbra, while simultaneously creating where he worked extensively with 3D printing and photogrammetry, and also developed web applications for estimation of biological parameters (sex, ancestry, age-at-death, stature) from skeletal features. Recently, he also co-founded the first portuguese junior enterprise focused in data science - - where he worked with machine learning and bioinformatics projects, and led workshops of statistics, R and Python programming. His research interests are in geospatial paleoanthropology, geometric morphometrics and osteology, from both forensic and evolutionary perspectives. João is currently on the fourth year of his DPhil on automated geospatial search for fossil sites in Africa: a computer vision and machine learning approach, and is supervised by  Dr Susana Carvalho and Dr Robert L Anemone.

Lynn Lewis-Bevan

Lynn Lewis-Bevan

I am currently doing a fourth year DPhil in Zoology, jointly supervised by Dr Dora Biro (Zoology) and Dr Susana Carvalho (Anthropology). I am studying the drivers of decision making and movement in baboons in Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique. I will examine factors such as the heterogeneous landscape, the large number of baboon groups and the varying levels of predation throughout the park to understand what affects the ranging behaviours in these troops, and elucidate how early hominins in a similar environment would have navigated their landscapes.


Megan Beardmore-Herd

I am a DPhil student under the supervision of Professor Susana Carvalho and Professor Julia Fischer. My background is in biological anthropology, with an emphasis on human evolution and primatology. For my DPhil research I am studying vervet monkeys and baboons experiencing a shift in ecology as a result of carnivore reintroductions in Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique. After conducting several months of fieldwork in Gorongosa habituating and IDing troops of vervet monkeys whilst collecting data on their behaviour and vocal communication in response to predators and agonistic encounters which was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, I am now using remote detection methods to continue my research and investigate the effects of seasonality, major climatic events, and changes in the landscape of fear on the abundance, distribution, and ranging patterns of these primates.

Contact details: 


Sophie Berdugo

I am a fourth year DPhil student under the supervision of Professor Emma Cohen and Professor Susana Carvalho. Broadly, I am interested in the factors mediating the efficiency of tool-use in chimpanzees. I am undertaking a longitudinal observational analysis using 26 years of archival video footage of the wild chimpanzee community in Bossou, Guinea, to investigate role of social learning in the transmission of material culture. I am following the development of 13 mother-infant dyads from the infant's critical learning period to adulthood to assess variation in the ontogeny of the nut-cracking behaviour, and whether divergent learning experiences effect the adult nut-racking efficiency.