Primatology Researchers to Speak on Mountain Gorillas and Their Conservation

Published: December 1st, 2017

Category: Featured, News

Primatology researchers to speak on mountain gorillas and their conservation

To celebrate the exhibit “Bob Campbell’s Photographs of Dian Fossey’s Karisoke Research Center, 1968-1972”, the UF Smathers Libraries are pleased to host two leading primatologists to discuss their work with the mountain gorillas of East Africa. Tara Stoinski of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and David Watts of Yale University will lecture on their current and past conservation and research efforts on Wednesday afternoon, December 6th (12:00-3:00 pm) in UF’s Smathers Library (East) Room 100.

This event is co-sponsored with Center for African Studies, Department of Anthropology, UF International Center, UF Biodiversity Institute, Florida Museum of Natural History, Land Use and Environmental Change Institute, Tropical Conservation & Development, IFAS Wildlife Ecology & Conservation, and the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International.

Fifty years ago, in September 1967, Dian Fossey founded the Karisoke Research Center in the Virunga Mountains of Rwanda and dedicated her life to the mountain gorilla and their survival. The featured exhibit photographs are from a collection of 15,000 original slides taken by wildlife photographer Bob Campbell and donated to the Libraries in 2015 by his widow, Dr. Heather Campbell of Nairobi, Kenya.

The invited speakers will complement the current Smathers exhibit commemorating Karisoke’s anniversary, with details relating to the exhibit photographs, several of which National Geographic magazine featured in cover stories that propelled Dian Fossey to international recognition.

Dr. Tara Stoinski has studied gorillas for over two decades. She leads conservation, protection and research efforts of gorillas in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo and serves as the President and CEO/Chief Scientific Officer of the Fossey Fund. Her efforts and those of her international team have focused on the gorillas and their habitats in addition to active work with local communities and conservation groups to facilitate their protection.

Professor David Watts was director of Karisoke for two years, immediately following the murder of Dian Fossey in December 1985. Watts currently leads research on common chimpanzees and their habitat at Ngogo (Kibale National Park, Uganda) and started the Ngogo Chimpanzee Project in 1995 which he co-directs with colleagues. He did his doctoral research on mountain gorillas and much of his subsequent work was focused on of mountain gorilla ecology and behavior.

An online exhibit is available at and about 2,500 images from Campbell’s work with the mountain gorillas are available online at

For more information contact:
Dan Reboussin, African Studies curator Department of Special & Area Studies Collections
Office Tel. (352) 273-2642
Cell (352) 316-1501
Useful links:

UF Libraries Karisoke Online Exhibit: link
National Geographic Magazine September 2017 article: link

Image credit: Bob Campbell photograph of Dian Fossey with gorillas, 1969


Comments are currently closed.