Where We Work

For our research with nonhuman primates, we partner with parks, sanctuaries, zoos and research centers in the US, Europe, and Africa. This approach allows us to study animals living in socially and ecologically-rich environments, and understand their cognition and behavior in natural contexts. In addition, we collaborate with studies of wild primates to understand cognition in the field. Finally, we conduct research with humans, often adapting our methods from animals, in our laboratory space in the Psychology Department at the University of Michigan.

Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary
  • Population: ~50 wild-born chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)
  • Location: In Lake Victoria near Entebbe, Uganda
  • Setting: Ngamba also cares for wild-born orphans of the bush-meat and pet trade. During the day, the group free-ranges on an island of over 90 acres of primary tropical rain forest located in Lake Victoria. We conduct research in the apes’ sleeping dormitory.

Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Sanctuary
  • Population: ~140 wild-born chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)
  • Location: near Pointe Noire, Republic of Congo
  • Setting: Tchimpounga, led by the Jane Goodall Institute, cares for wild-born orphans of the bushmeat and pet trade. Apes live in multiple mixed-age and -sex groups that free-range in rainforest enclosures. We conduct research in the apes’ sleeping dormitories.

Kibale Chimpanzee Project
  • Population: ~50 wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii)
  • Location: Kibale National Park, Uganda
  • Setting: The Kibale Chimpanzee Project is a long-term study of wild chimpanzee behavior, ecology, and physiology. It was established in 1987 to study the Kanyawara community, currently numbering approximately 50 individuals. We collaborate with the KCP team as part of our projects on chimpanzee aging and the evolution of leadership.

Cayo Santiago Field Station
  • Population: ~1500 rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta)
  • Location: Near Punta Santiago, Puerto Rico
  • Setting: This population of monkeys was introduced to Cayo Santiago in the 1930s. The Cayo Santiago Field Station is now one section of the Caribbean Primate Research Center. Monkeys free-range through the island’s 38 acres, living in natural multi-male multi-female social groups. We approach calmly-sitting monkeys to conduct our studies.

Duke Lemur Center
  • Population: ~220 lemurs from 20+ species, including Coquerel’s sifaka (Propithecus coquereli), ruffed lemurs (Varecia sp.), ringtailed lemurs (Lemur catta),and mongoose lemurs (Eulemur mongoz).
  • Location: Durham, NC USA
  • Setting: This is the largest collection of these highly-endangered primates in the world. Lemurs live in species-appropriate social groups, and many free-range in 80 acres of Duke forest during the warmer months.

Trentham Monkey Forest
  • Population: ~140 Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus)
  • Location: near Stoke-on-Trent, UK
  • Setting: Barbary macaques at Trentham comprise two mixed-sex groups that semi-free-range in a 60 acre forested park. The monkeys are a cold-adapted species and can live outside comfortably year-round. We approach calmly-sitting monkeys as they move about the forest to conduct cognitive studies and do behavioral observations.

Detroit Zoo
  • Population: ~11 chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)
  • Location: Royal Oak, MI USA
  • Setting: The Great Apes of Harambee exhibit includes 4-acres of naturalistic habitat located in the Detroit Zoo’s African Forest. The group of 11 chimpanzees, ranging from infants to adults, has both indoor and outdoor access. We conduct cognitive examining the chimpanzees’ problem-solving abilities in their indoor sleeping space.

Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary
  • Population: ~65 wild-born bonobos (Pan paniscus)
  • Location: Outside Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Setting: Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary cares for wild-born orphans of the bush-meat and pet trade. During the day, bonobos free-range in large forested enclosures in their social groups. We conduct research in the apes’ sleeping dormitories.