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Anthropologist Jackie Prime talks about the gibbons of Thailand
Turns out, the first rule of seeing a gibbon in the wild is also a pretty good rule of thumb for living your best life: as you move along your path, don’t look down at your feet; always look up. Renowned anthropologist and former MM Robinson student Jackie Prime, who has committed the past ten years to studying tree-dwelling gibbons in the protected rainforests of Thailand, is speaking about her research and adventures at Central Library on Thursday, January 10, 7-9pm in Centennial Hall. The program is free and all ages are welcome; call 905.639.3611 ext 1321 to attend.
In this presentation, Jackie will introduce some of the general characteristics of monkeys and apes, and explore how gibbons, also known as the “singing ape,” help us understand the human condition. And she’ll share stories from her recent expedition to Thailand, where she lived for two years with local Thais as the only foreign researcher in one of Thailand’s largest and most celebrated protected rainforests: UNESCO World Heritage Site, Khao Yai National Park.
Growing up in Burlington, Jackie developed a strong interest in our planet at a young age. An avid nature enthusiast, she spent her youth hiking and camping throughout Southern Ontario, consistently curious about the environment and human connections to it. After graduating with a combined honours degree in Anthropology and English from McMaster University, Jackie traveled to Central America to build her primate fieldwork skills studying howler monkeys in Belize and Panama. She then headed to Ellensburg, Washington, USA, to help out as an Earthwatch volunteer at the Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute with the famous chimpanzees trained in American Sign Language, Washoe and her chimp family, before embarking on her Master’s degree studying the hand manipulation skills of gibbons in captivity.
Currently, Jackie is a doctoral candidate at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (SIUC) continuing to pursue her degree in Anthropology with a specialization in primate behaviour and cognition. She conducts behavioural research on hand use and foraging skills in gibbons and macaques in Thailand at Khao Yai National Park, and teaches the introductory anthropology courses at SIUC.
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