Hello from Brooke
New member - seeking fellow macaque enthusiasts!
WildHub looks like a great place to be and I'm excited about its potential. Seems logical to start with one of these intro posts!
Like all primatologists, I started out as an artist... Seriously, there are a lot of primate people who started this way and I am not quite sure why... don't you find that, though? Anyway, I grew up in the US and went to Massachusetts college of Art (class of 1994) in Boston straight out of high school. I did love it, but I'd do things differently given the chance.
I started learning about primates in 1999 as a volunteer at a sanctuary in the UK. Since then, I've worked with monkeys of many species at a number of facilities in the Europe, North America and South America in capacities ranging from volunteer to assistant head keeper.
Despite my art school beginnings, I went on to earn an MSc in Primate Conservation from Oxford Brookes University and an MSc in International Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law from University of Edinburgh. I find it quite hard to conceptualise primate welfare separately from conservation or conservation separately from welfare. They are far too intertwined.
My research has been on the San Martin titi monkeys (Plecturocebus oenanthe) and its vocalisations, the UK primate pet trade, facial expressions in performing primates and the way these are (mis)understood by audiences, and the use of non-human primate "actors" in hollywood films.
For the last several years I've been working for the Animals Asia Foundation and more recently, also, for the Asia for Animals Coalition. With the AfA I am exploring the possibility of centralizing information and creating resources for projects working on macaque welfare in the context of human-macaque conflict mitigation. Please do get in touch if this is of interest to you!
Finally, but definitely not least, I've been on the board of directors for a small but very impactful NGO called Neotropical Primate Conservation. I'm incredibly proud of the work my colleagues at NPC have done and continue to do -primarily in Peru and Colombia.
I hope to have some interesting conversations with some of you in the future!