I am a primatologist, with my main interests revolving around the anthropogenic impacts humans can present to wild primates and how this may shape primate behavioural ecology, both impacting species conservation and welfare.
My current work is situated at Gola Rainforest National Park, Sierra Leone. Here, western chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) are exposed to various levels of human disturbance across different environments. I am investigating how chimpanzees use these environments and how they may respond to changing environmental, and anthropogenic, conditions across the landscape and its seasons.
Previously, I have carried out my MSc in Primate Conservation research in Uganda’s Budongo Forest Reserve, where I focused on chimpanzee stress hormone responses to fragmented, anthropogenic landscapes. I have also worked with the Greater Mahale Ecosystem Research & Conservation Project, Tanzania, and the Borneo Nature Foundation, Borneo.
I am supervised by Dr Tania Minhos (Universidade Nova de Lisboa) and Dr Kimberly Hockings (University of Exeter). I’m a member of the Centre for Research in Anthropology, and my PhD is funded via a scholarship from the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia. My research can be followed at primatehowell.wordpress.com.