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The Forest Primeval
Fossas: The Island's Top Dogs
Lemurs: The Oldest Primates
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Burney Expedition

First fossa encounter
Modern conservation movement
Mysterious extinction
2,000 years ago
Agricultural practices
Preserving the forest
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Trainline destroyed
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A new species
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Home > Biodiversity > Researchers

  David Burney
David Burney is the director of conservation of the National Tropical Botanical Garden in Kalaheo, Hawaii. He is also a professor of biology at Fordham University in New York. For more than two decades his research has focussed on endangered species, the causes of extinction and past climate, especially in Hawaii and Madagascar. In July and August 2004 he lead a team of researchers to Madagascar in to learn more about the extinction of Madagascar's megafauna.
  Luke Dollar
Luke Dollar is a Ph.D. student in ecology at Duke University. He has been splitting his time between the United States and Madagascar since 1994. He spends his time in Madagascar researching the habits and health of the fossa, Madagascar's top predator analyzing deforestation using satellite photos and managing conservation programs in the Ankarafantsika National Park, the largest parcel of protected dry forest in Madagascar.
  Karen Freudenberger
Karen Schoonmaker Freudenberger is a socio-economist specializing in participatory research who has lived in Madagascar since 1998. She’s been regional director of the FCE Railway Rehabilitation Project (FCER) since 2001. She carried out research that demonstrated the importance of saving the FCE railway after cyclones severely damaged it in 2000 and has been active in revitalization of the rail line.
  Mark Freudenberger
Mark Freudenberger has been the regional director for the U.S. Agency for International Development’s environment-development projects in the province of Fianarantsoa since 1998. His work has been focused primarily on protecting the forest corridor that links two of Madagascar's important humid-forest national parks, Ranomafana and Andringitra. He has lived in Africa on and off for most of his life, having spent his early childhood in Zaire and having served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Togo. He has a Ph.D. in Regional Planning from UCLA.
  Laurie Godfrey
Laurie Godfrey is a professor of anthropology at the University of Massachusetts. Her specialty is the “lifeways” -- the habits, diet, habitats and other attributes of extinct lemurs. In July and August of 2004 she accompanied David Burney to Madagascar searching for extinct megafauna remains.
  Steve Goodman
Steve Goodman works for the Field Museum of Chicago, though he is based in the Madagascar office the World Wildlife Fund in Antananarivo. For more than a decade Goodman has spent much of his time on extended expeditions to previously little-studied parcels of Malagasy native forest. He has completed more than 170 surveys of wildlife throughout the island. Goodman believes that an important part of protecting Madagascar's wildlife is training an indigenous corps of wildlife biologists, a task he has personally been heavily involved in. In 2004, he published a massive anthology of research on Malagasy wildlife with scores of authors, the most comprehensive book on this topic ever published.
  Alison Jolly
Alison Jolly has been studying lemurs in Madagascar since the early 1960s. She does her field work in Berenty, a tiny private reserve near the southern tip of Madagascar, owned by the de Heaulme family. This de Heaulmes cleared the surrounding land to plant a sisal plantation in the late 1920s and early 1930s, but they kept Berenty as a refuge for ringtail lemurs, which live only in southern Madagascar. Jolly has written a number of books on primate behavior and Madagascar, including a 20th century history of Madagascar, as seen through the eyes of the de Heaulmes family. She has been a longstanding advocate for protecting Madagascar's wildlife.
  Russell Mittermeier
Russell Mittermeier is primatologist and the president of Conservation International. He has conducted field work on three continents and more than 20 countries.
  Julie Pomerantz
Julie Pomerantz is a veterinarian from New York where she cares for dogs, cats, birds and other pets in a number of hospitals. Each summer she joins Luke Dollar at the Ankarafantsika National Park to study fossa. Recently she began collecting blood samples of captured fossa to learn more about non-native diseases they are exposed to from domestic and feral animals like dogs and cats in the park.
  Ramilisonina (Ramily)
Ramilisonina (who goes by the nickname Ramily) is a retired archaeologist from the University of Antananarivo.
  Achille Raselimanana
Achille Raselimanana is a Malagasy herpetologist who received his Ph.D. at the University of Antananarivo. He is the director of biodiversity programs of the Madagascar office of the World Wildlife Fund. In November 2004, he discovered a new chameleon, a new skink and two new frogs in the Moratandrano Special Reserve.
  Jean Claude Razafimahaimodison
Jean Claude Razafimahaimodison received a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Massachusetts . His doctoral research in the Ranomafana National Park showed that the breeding success of the pitta-like ground roller, a ground-nesting bird that rarely flies, is compromised by the activities of tourists. He is currently employed at the research station Centre Valbio (Centre International de Formation pour la Valorisacion de la Biodiversite) just outside Ranomafana, where he is continuing his study of the pitta-like ground roller and helping students and other researchers with their studies .
  Patricia Wright
Patricia Wright's career in primatology began when she went to South America to find a mate for her pet owl monkey, Herbie. She has been studying lemurs in Madagascar for 20 years. In 1985 she went on an expedition to the humid forest near the town of Ranomafana in the middle of Madagascar's eastern forest. She was searching for a surviving member of the greater bamboo species of lemurs. It hadn't been seen in the wild for decades, and was considered extinct. But she thought some might still be alive. Instead, she discovered a related species, which was completely unknown to science, and which is now called the golden bamboo lemur. Later she also found greater bamboo lemurs, the species she originally sought, living in the same area. Through Wright's efforts, the forest was subsequently turned into a national park. In December 2004, Wright lead an expedition to Ranomafana's highest peak, in search of another uncataloged lemur species. There, with a team of other researchers and guides, she darted, captured and examined what appears to be one more member of the lemur clan.

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