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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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Haley and the tsingy landscape of the Ankarana National Park.

On the Ground in Madagascar with Haley Randell

  I’m a certified redhead from suburban Connecticut with parents from meat-and-potatoes, small-town Ohio.   There was no way I could have ever known what to expect from my journey as a researcher working in Madagascar. Although it’s been almost two years since I started – and ended – my adventure in Madagascar, people still ask me what it was like…and I still don’t know how to answer. It was breathtaking, depressing, difficult, inspiring, and lonely; the emotional roller coaster was pretty all-encompassing. […]

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A Coquerel's sifaka in Madagascar.

On the Ground in Madagascar with Shawn Lehman

Studying Biogeography: Where Lemurs Live and Why After years of undertaking surveys of lemurs in Madagascar, I literally missed the forest for the trees, as the saying goes. I’d spent considerable time and energy walking along freshly cut trails penetrating deep into the remaining forests on this island. Along the way, my research team and I saw – and were amazed by – the incredible diversity of plants and animals in the forest, many of which are found nowhere else […]

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Alison Clausen

On the Ground in Madagascar with Alison Clausen, Country Director for WCS

When did you first get interested in working with lemurs and conservation, and what motivated you to undertake this work? I first visited Madagascar in 2003 and immediately fell in love with the country and its wildlife, including, of course, the lemurs. One of my strongest memories from that first trip is waking up to the eerie howling of the Indri indri in Andasibe Special Reserve. It’s a sound that still gives me goose bumps! It’s amazing to hear that and […]

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Kim meeting with a village elder in a rural village while doing research.

On the Ground in Madagascar with Kim Reuter

The capture of live lemurs was so under-quantified I could only find one paper that had explicitly studied it…given that lemurs are considered one of the most endangered vertebrates in the world and that we spend millions of dollars a year protecting them, I felt it was important to figure out some of these details regarding this threat. Whenever people ask me why I originally started working in Madagascar, I don’t usually have a good answer except to say that I […]

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