Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Never resist.

"In life you can choose two paths: The path of least resistance, or the path you can't resist. - Never resist."         -Island Company Doctrine

After waiting all summer, it is finally coming together in just 10 days from now. I thought I'd done a great job packing, but after attending a conference and visiting family and friends, I returned to my bedroom to find that I had left out a few essential items--can't forget my binoculars!-- as well as several packages that had been ordered online and delivered in my absence.

Ummm I think this came from Thailand?! Leech proof socks, everybody. Definitely gonna need those.

I am off to spend a few months in Madagascar, comparing the feeding ecology of Southern lesser bamboo lemurs (Hapalemur meriodionalis) in a pristine rainforest and a fragmented littoral forest. More details on this later.

Introducing the Hapalemur meridionalis (Photo by Tim Eppley)

"Why lemurs," you may ask?

"Why not!"(Remember the Doctrine...)

This should not come as a surprise to those that know me; in fact, you may recall that time I traveled from Los Angeles to Uganda to follow wild chimpanzees around the forest (re-live the adventure here: and see photos here:

This time around, I will be joining a brilliant student, Tim, on his PhD project based at University of Hamburg, in collaboration with University of Antananarivo. Though I have already collected/analysed/deleted/analysed/deleted/slaved/analysed/deleted/analysed/deleted/analysed/written/defended/graduated with my PhD, I know that I still have a lot to learn. (Mostly sounds like I need to work on my analysis skills!) No but seriously, I have focused for several years on great ape cognition, so this study will be a fun and different challenge.

So many analyses! The less glorious side of working with primates is fitting models and data.

I could go on and on about what challenges I expect to face while roughing it in the forest (rain drenching my sleeping bag, malaria, bathing in the river with crocodiles, not bathing at all, not speaking the local language...) but for now I need to tackle my current challenge: fitting all this stuff into my backpack!

Probably going to pay some baggage fees...
Please stay tuned for updates as I venture out of the basement office and back out into the wild!

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