I am a primate behavioral ecologist and conservationist invested in primate conservation, particularly as it relates to the interface between primate and human land use. This involves exploring, for example, fragmentation, edge effects, and matrix use of primates in anthropogenic landscapes. As primates and humans increasingly and inevitably come into closer contact, how will primates respond to the need for change, and how may we best mediate any potential primate-human conflict? These and related research questions are relevant not only for an understanding of primate adaptability but, most importantly, for their ability to place primates within their present context: anthropogenic environments. Many primate groups may no longer be viewed as living in pristine habitats, and an understanding of how human influence affects both primate behavior and sustainability is a necessity.
I firmly believe conservation education and development lie at the helm of conservation efforts and am a forever-advocate of incorporating true conservation planning into any biological research project. I am interested in facilitating a love of nature across all ages and in developing culturally-relevant curricula and education programs in primate range countries.
I am thrilled to be collaborating with Centre ValBio, Dr. Patricia C. Wright, Daniella Rabino and Emma Browne on a radio education program sponsored by SOS (Save Our Species). The project, begun February 2016, aims to bring educational lemur- and conservation-based radio programming to the villages surrounding Ranomafana National Park in southeastern Madagascar. The radio programs will be paired with educational content aimed at connecting schoolchildren to lemurs in a personal, rather than purely scientific, manner.
My interest in animals began before I knew what the words for animals were and a deep love of primates in particular was fostered soon afterward.
As an undergraduate, I served as research assistant to my professor, Dr. Rebecca Lewis, at her field site in southwestern Madagascar where I conducted ecological plot surveys, behavioral observations, and routine captures of Verreaux's sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi). I later returned to field work as a volunteer for Dr. Anna Nekaris'Little Fireface Project, a long-term behavioral research project of Javan slow loris (Nycticebus javanicus) in an agroforest mosaic in Cipaganti, West Java, Indonesia that incorporates conservation education initiatives and animal market surveys alongside behavioral follows. In the interim between these two projects, I became a Wilderness Explorer at Disney's Animal Kingdom where my role was to engage park guests with animals, nature, and conservation as a Conservation Education Presenter.
Mailing Address: Katherine J. Kling The Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences (IDPAS) in Biological Anthropology Dept. of Anthropology, Stony Brook University Circle Road, SBS Bldg N-522 Stony Brook, NY 11794-4364