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Primatology webinars in times of COVID-19

Updated: May 30




What do primatologists do when they are locked down? Well, apparently plenty of webinars, among many other things, for sure. Here is a non-comprehensive list of online panels, presentations and related, performed during the pandemic that has turned our lives upside-down over the last few months. First, there are talks in English, then Spanish and French. Now I also count on the collaboration of Rismayanti, Head Manager of the Macaca Nigra Project, who will be curating the Indonesian section! Finally, there are some talks with Portuguese audio within conferences in English and Spanish. I labelled them accordingly so you can find them. I hope you enjoy the list!





  • Para palestras em português, pesquise [ÁUDIO PORTUGUÊS]. Existem 7 no total.






The African Primatological Society virtual panel on COVID-19

The African Primatological Society hosted a panel that discussed the links between biodiversity loss and the emergence of epidemics and the implications this has for human-wellbeing and African primate conservation. Panelists: Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, Jonah Ratsimbazafy, Bassirou Bonfoh, Sian Waters, Johannes Refisch. Moderated by Inza Koné and Rachel Ikemeh. Rapporteurs: Ekwoge Abwe and Karim Ouattara.


You can watch it HERE. And you can find the follow up HERE







Animal Behavior Society Virtual Meeting, July 28-31, 2020


The virtual ABS meeting gathered hundreds of researchers from all branches of the field for 4 intense days of ethological virtual pride. I listed here those presentations that were later uploaded to Youtube. The abstracts of all presentation on-demand are still available at the website of the conference



















The Association of Indian Primatologists webinar series

The Association of Indian Primatologists has organized interesting talks on primate research and conservation by international experts such as:



















More upcoming webinars on the AIP Youtube channel









Ape Alliance: COVID-19 and Zoonotic Diseases Panel Discussion

The panel discussed how apes could be affected by COVID-19 and how ape tourism might contribute to the transmission of zoonotic diseases. The panellists were: Ian Redmond, James Desmond, Johannes Refisch, Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, Ian Singleton, Vernon Reynolds and Jo Thompson. Moderated by Iona Haines.



(You can also watch it HERE)







BIAZA Research Committee: #virtualzooscience2020

The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) organized a virtual conference on the 6th of July 2020. Among the talks, a couple dealt with primate research:




You can check the rest of the conference HERE



Bio-Diverse Festival


The Bio-diverse festival took place between the 12th-18th October 2020 and brought together conservationists to talk about their work in an inclusive environment. All talks can be found in their YouTube channel, including:





Hopefully you are also interested in these panel discussions:




CRESIDA seminar series - The University of Roehampton


The Centre for Research in Evolutionary, Social and Inter-Disciplinary Anthropology (CRESIDA) at the University of Roehampton, started an anthropology webinar series which includes, of course, primate research. Check the Anthroehampton blog for updates.





Dysoc/NIMBioS Webinar Series on Cultural Evolution

The National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) and the The Center for the Dynamics of Social Complexity (Dysoc) has organized a series of webinars on cultural evolution that includes, of course, some dealing with non-human primates:




EFP-GFP 2021 Seminar Series

The European Federation for Primatology (EFP) and the German Primatological Society (GfP) had scheduled a meeting for 2021. Due to the pandemic, has been postponed to 2022. To keep everyone on the loop, they have organized a webinar series in which promising young primatologists from or based in Europe will discuss their work. Talks will be held live every Wednesday during February 2021. You can register here. The schedule is:


Wednesday Feb. 3rd, 2021:

Register Here

  • Charlotte Canteloup - From whom to learn? Social learning biases in wild vervet monkeys


  • Daria Valente - Similarities and differences in lemur vocal behaviour: a comparative approach


  • Dietmar Crailsheim - Assessing the sociability of former pet and entertainment chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) by using a monolayer and a multiplex social network approach



Wednesday Feb. 10th, 2021:


  • Vedrana Šlipogor - Unique, just like everyone else? Integrative approach to the study of personality in common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus)


  • Alex Mielke - Replicability and reproducibility in primate sociality studies


  • Jaimie Morris - Genetic and morphological analyses of historic and contemporary populations of western lowland gorilla: A multidisciplinary approach for the conservation of a critically endangered primate


Wednesday Feb. 17th, 2021:


  • Iván García-Nisa - Investigating the contribution of communication to social learning opportunities in Barbary macaques


  • Cécile Sarabian - From cognition & behavior to infection: primate responses to parasitic threat


  • Pooja Dongre - Immigrants trigger novel food acquisition in a wild primate


Wednesday Feb. 24th, 2021:


  • Eva Gazagne - From the ground to the sky: Habituation, surveys, and areal monitoring technologies in primatological fieldwork


  • Francesca De Petrillo - Ecological variation in primate decision-making


  • Grégoire Boulinguez-Ambroise - Infant-holding: The forgotten behavior in primate developmental and evolutionary studies


Wednesday Feb. 24th, 2021:


  • Eva Gazagne - From the ground to the sky: Habituation, surveys, and areal monitoring technologies in primatological fieldwork


  • Francesca De Petrillo - Ecological variation in primate decision-making


  • Grégoire Boulinguez-Ambroise - Infant-holding: The forgotten behavior in primate developmental and evolutionary studies



FINE Seminar series

The International Remote Seminar on Frontiers in Social Evolution (FINE) organizes seminars on Tuesdays (11:00 in New York/17:00 in Paris) which can be attended via Zoom or YouTube. Here are the seminars dealing with primates:









Habitat Expert Series Webforums

The Habitat Foundation, a conservation trust based in Penang, Malaysia, has organized a series of webforums over the last months focusing on biodiversity and conservation in Malaysia. They teamed up with the Malaysian Primatological Society (MPS) to organize a forum the 28th of July on "A Future for Primates in Malaysia", where five experts discussed their work:


  • Peter Ong of the Project Monyet talked about his goal of photographing all 25 primate species living in Malaysia


  • Felicity Oram of PONGO Alliance explained the efforts being taken in the Kinabatangan to ensure long-term viability for the orangutan


  • Nadine Rupert of the Malaysian Primatological Society shared an overview of the challenges faced by primates in Malaysia, focusing on her research on southern pig-tailed macaques living in oil palm plantations in Perak


  • Sharmini Julita Paramasivam, founder of the Animal Neighbours project, spoke about the long-tailed macaque, and the management strategies to ameliorate human-macaque conflicts in urban Malaysia


  • Jo Leen Yap, founder of Langur Project Penang provided an in-depth view of the conservation efforts for dusky langurs and other arboreal species in Penang.


  • Hani Nabilia of PERHILITAN, spoke about the laws and regulations which surround primate conservation in Malaysia




(You can also watch it HERE, and enjoy more material of Habitat Foudation HERE)



IUCN Primate Specialist Group Section for Human Primate Interactions:


Cercopithecines, people and Covid-19

This webinar brought together experts on different types of interactions between primates and humans to discuss how the pandemic could affect such relationships. It was organized by Siân Waters, Susan M Cheyne & Malene Friis Hansen and the presenters were:


  • Thomas Gillespie – What are the risks and how can we mitigate COVID-19 for Cercopithecines and people in shared environments?


  • Lauren Gilhooly – Fewer people, fewer problems? How changes in tourism can affect macaque behaviour


  • Malene Friis Hansen & Ventie Angelia Nawangsari, – Creating demand, then cutting supply: A case study of macaque provisioning in real-time.


  • Tanvir Ahmed – Human-Primate Conflicts in Bangladesh during the COVID-19 Pandemic


  • Magdalena Bermejo – Ape Case Studies and Human Interactions: Can people-primate interactions change during and after an epidemic?



(You can also watch it HERE)




Decolonising Primate Conservation

Streamed the 10th August 2020, this webinar was organized by Siân Waters and Susan M Cheyne. The speakers were:


  • Seheno Corduant-Andriantsaralaza - How decolonization in conservation and inclusivity in research can improve conservation efforts and initiatives in Madagascar?


  • June Mary Rubis - Seeing the utan for the orang: a decolonial Indigenous approach to orang utan conservation in Sarawak





(You can also watch it HERE)





The Role of Belief Systems in African Primate Conservation


Streamed the 20th October 2020, this webinar was organized by Siân Waters, Lynne R.Baker, and Susan M Cheyne. The speakers were:


  • Carolyn A. Jost Robinson - Beyond believing. Conceptualizing diverse forms of knowledge in conservation practice


  • Christopher Dankwah - The nexus of Indigenous cultures and primate havens; insights from Ghana


  • Sherrie Alexander - The role of religion in primate conservation: Muslim perceptions of Barbary macaques in the Rif mountains of Morocco


  • Sery Gonedele Bi - Contribution of taboos to the conservation of Geoffroy's black-and-white colobus in two distinct traditional communities in Côte d'Ivoire


  • Lynne R.Baker - Local belief systems and the conservation of Sclater's monkey in Nigeria



(You can also watch it HERE)






Leakey Foundation Lunch Break Science Series

The Leakey Foundation has recently started a series of webinars led by anthropologists from different areas, including:









Lemur Conservation Network panel discussions

The Lemur Conservation Network connects over 60 organizations working to save the lemurs from Madagascar with people who want to join the cause. They have posted some webinars and panel discussions in the las few months like the ones below.


  • Lynne Venart, Seheno Corduant-Andriantsaralaza, Lucia Rodríguez, Brett Massoud, Laurenne Mansbridge, Jonah Ramampionona, Tanjona Raharijaona - Madagascar Travel Showcase



Long-Term Animal Research Seminar Series

The Long-Term Animal Research Seminar Series has appointed several distinguished primatologists including:











Monkey Monday - MSc Primate Conservation Oxford Brookes University (UK)



You can check future talks HERE



Oxford Nature Conservation Society talks


The Oxford Nature Conservation Society (OUNCS) is a society run by students from the University of Oxford who organize, among other things, the talk series than can then be viewed in their Facebook page. The 22nd October they invited Prof. Anna Nekaris whose talk was entitled "Adorable little fur balls of death: the ecological function and conservation implications of slow loris venom"







Primate Conversations Seminar Series

The Primate models for behavioural evolution lab of the University of Oxford organizes the now webinar series Primate Conversations. This season it featured:









Primate Expertise outreach videos


Primate Expertise (PEx) is a Congolese NGO, created by Dr Augustin K. Basabose in 2013. PEx's objective is to inspire young Congolese to take leadership in the research and conservation of non-human primates in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In his Youtube channel you can find videos (in English and French) on his humanitarian activities during the covid-19 pandemic as well as on the conservation and primates of Kahuzi-Biega National Park.


Augustin K. Basabose - “Ape Trees” about growing trees from seeds collected from ape dung to restore degraded forest area albeit the global challenge from COVID-19




Primate Society of Great Britain Winter Meeting 2020

Between the 1st and 2nd of December, the Primate Society of Great Britain (PSGB) organized its first online meeting. Here are some of the talks publicly available. The posters are available until the 9th December.




Presentation sessions:










Saints Talk - University of St Andrews Alumni

The University of St Andrews organizes online lectures by their Alumni. One of them was

Cat Hobaiter, who explains her work on ape communication and mind in her talk "The Language of Life"





Slow Loris 2020 Conference - Little Fireface Project


The Little Fireface project organized a conference the 24th October focused on Loris. The speakers were:


  • Anna Nekaris – Welcome and overview of loris conservation


  • Hiroko Somura – Biological research in Myanmar on Bengal slow loris


  • Phuntsho Thinley – Preliminary distribution of Bengal slow loris in Bhutan


  • Hassan Al-Razi MSc – Bengal slow loris research and conservation in Bangladesh


  • Li Tianjiao – Sunda Slow Loris research in Singapore


  • Smitha Daniel – Story of the smallest Indian primate – the Malabar slender loris


  • Judeline Dimalibot – A preliminary study of the habitat and behaviour of Philippine slow loris Nycticebus menagensis in Simunul Island, Tawi-tawi Province, Philippines


  • Sergey Khlyupin – Research, successful management and breeding of slow lorises in Moscow zoo, Russia


  • Jennie Natalia Simanjuntak – Overview of the the Kukang Rescue Program, Sumatra, Indonesia


  • Dr Marina Kenyon – The chronicles of Vietnamese loris: the hunter, the ranger and the rescue centre


  • Dr Nabajit Das – Medicinal plant exudates and conservation implications of Bengal slow loris (Nycticebus bengalensis) in India


  • Dr Penthai Siriwat – Trade in slow lorises in Thailand


  • Dr Qingyong Ni – Conservation and research of pygmy and Bengal slow lorises in China: status and challenges


  • Roopa Satish – Slender loris case reports at BRC, India, between Jan 2010 to August 2020


  • Lief Erickson D. Gamalo – Past and future for Philippine slow loris research in the Philippines


  • Esther Adinda – Social behaviour in the Javan slow loris (Nycticebus javanicus) – Little Fireface Project, West Java, Indonesia




(You can also watch it HERE)



University of Liverpool Evolutionary Anthropology Webinar Series


A series of webinars that brings together experts from different areas of evolutionary anthropology, including primatology. Live talks happen each Thursday at 13h (UK time) in Zoom. You may register through the links posted by @LivUni_EvoAnth on Twitter or watch them in their YouTube channel



  • Kathelijine Koops - Ape origins of human technology: What makes a tool user ?



World Chimpanzee Day Special


The 14th July was the World Chimpanzee Day, the 60th anniversary of the arrival of Jane Goodall to Gombe. Researchers of the University of Exeter, the University of Oxford (Primate Models For Behavioural Evolution Lab) and the Bulindi Chimpanzee Project put together a series of outreach videos on chimpanzee research:

  1. Caroline Phillips & Alex Mielke - Introduction

  2. Marina Ramon & Hellen Bersacola - Threats and Conservation

  3. Hellen Bersacola - Field Methods

  4. Katarina Almeida-Warren & Hellen Bersacola - Local Resear