Aerial view of the Team of the LuiKotale Bonobo Station, picture taken by Christian Ziegler

Field Team of the LuiKotale Bonobo Project

The goal of the LuiKotale Bonobo Project is the continuous recording of long-term data on the behavior and lifestyle of free-ranging bonobos. This requires the cooperation of a team of international and national field assistants. Without this help the project would not be possible. For the international assistants, the living and working conditions in the forest are often very challenging and their personal commitment to the project is invaluable.

Debra Ashworth

I am a primatologist and a behaviourist with a love of photography. I have previously been a research assistant in Sumatra, Indonesia, that examined the connectivity of the forest outside of the Leuser Gunung National Park. That facilitates the movement of orang-utans from/to the private lands and back to the national park. I studied animal behaviour at the University of Chester in the United Kingdom.


Claire Bruxelle

I have worked as animal caretaker for several years in Bolivia and Peru where I was engaged in a rehabilitation programs of wild animal species including their repatriation into natural habitats. I participated in daily data collection from released Spider monkeys in the Amazon forest. In this context I developed a passion for nonhuman primates, their behavior and lifestyle and ability to adapt to novel environments. Since April 2024, I am part of LuiKotale research team and take this as an opportunity to enhance my knowledge about wild primates and the skills and techniques of data collection.

Camilo Camacho

I finished my bachelor thesis with a project focused on the reintroduction of Woolly monkeys in Colombia. This gave me the interest of continuing to work with primates. Following this, I worked as a research coordinator for a project focused on the conservation of Brown-headed spider monkeys in Ecuador. This year I started as a research assistant in the habitation project of bonobos.

Michaela Foley

I studied Zoology and Environmental Science at North Carolina State University, with my main research interests centered on conservation and human-wildlife conflict mitigation. I have previously worked in primate husbandry as a zookeeper in the US, and on the Belize Jaguar Project, utilizing camera monitoring for long-term occupany modeling and population study.

Justine Le Hingrat

After a bachelor degree in biology, I did my first 6-month voluntary service at CCC (Centre de Conservation pour Chimpanzée). Passionate about primates, I continued to get involved in their conservation, and after a year of master degree in ethology, I left for 4 months in Amazonia to study woolly monkeys and spider monkeys. My passion for Great Apes brought me back to CCC in 2028, where I stayed for 8 months as volunteer manager. Since November 2023, I am in charge of the Luikotale and Ekongo field camp as a camp and research administrator.


Tommaso Manzoni

I graduated in political philosophy and anthropology in Paris and then specialized in social practices for welcoming refugees and migrant people at the university of Bologna. In 2019, I joined the LKBP as a camp and research administrator. Following my first appointment, I returned to LuiKotale as a special envoy for film teams and journalists and for conducting conservation oriented campaigns in the villages. In 2023, I participated in a project that evaluates the sustainability of traditional hunting by villagers. Being part of a research team that combines scientific research, nature conservation, intercultural relationships, and economic development offers I am able to contribute my academic expertise, social skills and satisfy my ambition to consider the needs of wild animals and plants together with the requirements of traditional human societies.

Diede Piepenbrock

I finished my master degree in Behavioural Ecology, in which I conducted research on captive chimpanzees, gorillas and golden-bellied mangabeys. After this, I followed my great fascination for primate behaviour, ecology and conservation. I conducted behavioural research on wild spider monkeys in a fragmented forest in Ecuador. Currently, I am pursuing the habituation of the bonobos in the Ekongo forest.

...and residents of the neighboring villages

...and residents of the neighboring villages

The LuiKotale Bonobo Project is supported by the neighboring villages, thus enabling local people to earn additional income.
Go to Editor View