MAUREEN S. MCCARTHY, PHD
Research | Conservation | Education
I study endangered chimpanzees using broad-scale, non-invasive biomonitoring approaches.
My PhD research focused on chimpanzees in unprotected forest fragments of western Uganda. I used a genetic approach to identify a population of up to several hundred individuals—several times bigger than previously estimated—and found genetic evidence of recent dispersal despite extensive habitat fragmentation. I continue to study this population in collaboration with the Bulindi Chimpanzee & Community Project.
As a post-doctoral researcher in the Pan African Programme: The Cultured Chimpanzee (PanAf), I continued to use non-invasive approaches to answer big questions about chimpanzee populations. The PanAf uses a cross-sectional approach to explore drivers of behavioral diversity in chimpanzees. My research relies on using camera trap videos of chimpanzees from about 40 sites to study broad patterns of demographic variation.
Now, as a Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow at the University of Southern California, I am thrilled to continue this research while teaching courses in Human and Evolutionary Biology.