According to a recent Gallop poll, 42% of Americans believe in a Creationist view of human evolution. Surprisingly, this number has remained roughly the same since 1982. It is our responsibility as scientists, especially scientist interested in human origins, to work on increasing public acceptance of evolution. Over the past several years, I have engaged in several outreach efforts aimed to do just that through scientific education, media and online presence, and public talks on issues related to anthropology, primatology, and biology.
500 WOMEN SCIENTIST, Atlanta, GA, March 2019- present
I've recently joined the 500 Women Scientist Atlanta pod. 500 Women Scientist is a grassroots movement dedicated to empowering women to grow to their full potential in science, increase scientific literacy through public engagement, and advocate for science and equality. In March 2019, we participated in the Meet a Scientist event at the Atlanta Science Festival.
CORREDOR BIOLOGICO MONO AULLADOR, SINAC, Costa Rica, June 2018-present
One of the top priorities of the Capuchins @ Taboga project is community outreach and education. For that reason we joined the local committee of the Corredor Biológico Mono Aullador (Howler Monkey Biological Corridor), sponsored by the Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación (SINAC). The organization is comprised of local actors within the biological corridor, including ranchers, municipality employees, and researchers. The goal of the project is to enhance connectivity between protected forested areas and promote biodiversity in the region. Through our partnership with the Comité Local and SINAC, Capuchins @ Taboga has started collecting data on migratory birds and howler monkey counts, which we are sharing with SINAC, as well as planning environmental education classroom visits for the coming year.
SOCIAL COGNITION IN CAPUCHINS, UTN, Costa Rica, June 2017-present
In collaboration with La Universidad Technica Nacional in Costa Rica, we have initiated a field site and research station in La Reserva Forestal Taboga. The Capuchins @ Taboga project is dedicated to increasing scientific awareness, conservation efforts, and improving sustainability in the area. Currently, we give bi-annual talks to students and the public interested in ecotourism. We have several future endeavors including starting a field school, teaching classes on the flora and fauna of the area to students in Costa Rica and from US institutions, and creating a fully sustainable field station.
SCIENCE COMMUNICATION FELLOW, awarded May 2016
Happy to announce that as of May 2016 I completed the Science Communication Fellows Program at the University of Michigan. This program aims to bring scientists and public audiences together in face-to-face interactions that promote appreciation
and understanding of current scientific research.
FLAME CHALLENGE 2016, Gelada sounds video, January 2016
Presenting our entry to the 2016 Flame Challenge. The Flame Challenge is an international competition for scientists that is aimed to encourage children’s interests in the sciences. This year’s question, “what is sound?” is of particular interest to my research and the graduate students of the University of Michigan Gelada Research Project. With this music video we hope to teach kids not only what sound is but how sound is critical for obtaining information about friends and strangers. The music in this video is composed entirely from recorded gelada monkey vocalizations (thanks Paul Alexander Gonzalez ). Thanks to Julie Jarvey, Elizabeth Tinsley Johnson, Todd Nichols for acting/vocals and the rest of the crew for helping out Chelsea Fisher Rachna Reddy Sharmi Sen Morgan Gustison Maire Malone.