Core Team

  • Dr Erin Wessling, co-director, Research Scientist at the German Primate Center and the University of Goettingen
  • Prof. Hjalmar Kühl, co-director, Head of Department Zoology, Mammalogy, Senckenberg Society of Nature Research. Professor of Mammalian Biodiversity at the TU Dresden
  • Prof. Martin Surbeck, co-director, Assistant Professor, Harvard University
  • Paula Dieguez, coordinator, Scientific Employee, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig


Research Collaborators

  • Dr Tomas Marques-Bonet, Coordinator of Genomes and Systems, Departament de Ciències Experimentals i de la Salut, Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF): study bonobo within-species genetic variability and connectivity, reconstruct bonobo speciation and ancestry, and create a reference database for tracing bonobo wildlife by genetic profiling using bonobo fecal samples.
  • Prof. Martin Reinhardt Nielsen, Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen: perform social interviews focused on bushmeat consumption and trade to evaluate how food security, health, and socioeconomic characteristics are related to hunting and bushmeat consumption and attitudes towards bonobos.
  • Prof Nicole Van Dam, Henriette Uthe and Stefanie Döll, Molecular Interaction Ecology (MIE) research group & EcoMetEoR: analysis of metabolomic plant data to understand mechanisms underlying species interactions and biodiversity functions.
  • Dr. Julie Koch Sheard, Ecosystem Services, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig: understand the local variability of terrestrial arthropods present at each of the BonDiv sites using pitfall traps.
  • Poulsen Research Group in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Michigan and the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Oregon: analysis of isotopes of rainwater samples to understand hydrological cycling and environmental change, and its relation with the bonobos’ habitat and populations.
  • Prof. Fabian Leendertz / Helmholtz Center for Infection Research/ Helmholtz Institute for One Health (HZI/HIOH):

    better understand the relationship between animal, human and environmental health, by analyzing bonobo fecal samples, bonobo bones/carcasses,  and blowflies. Provide a general metric of biodiversity/ecosystem health by performing eDNA analysis of water, soil, and leaf swab samples.

Field Researchers

  • Alexander HOGAN
  • Joseph LISINGO
  • Steven MUHINDO
  • Freddy MAKENGO
  • Maisie ETTINGER
  • Donat BARUBIYO
  • Dieu Merci MPONGO
  • Johnson Y. UYULU