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Lisa O’Bryan is a PhD candidate in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota. Her dissertation research focuses on the function of chimpanzee food-associated calling behavior. She is currently conducting fieldwork at Gombe National Park through the end of May 2013.

Uncovering the Secrets of Chimpanzee Communication

Living with chimps may not do wonders for your communication abilities, but it just might pay off in a better understanding of theirs.

“You’re It!”: Alpha Male Seeks Out Hidden Chimp

With the scarcity of ripe fruit at Gombe over the last month and a half, the chimps have spread out across the park in order to avoid intense feeding competition. While, currently, this might be the best foraging strategy, it can be awfully lonely.

Hunger Games: One Chimp’s Thrilling Monkey Hunt

With foraging chimps coming up with little more than a few hard, bright green fruits, it wasn’t surprising when one tried his odds at catching a more satisfying meal.

Gombe 2013: The Case of the Missing Chimps

The Gombe chimps have disappeared, turning us into detectives as well as biologists. While days can go by without any sign of the chimps, occasionally we get clues to their whereabouts.

Chimps Opt for Takeout as “Grab-and-Go” Fruit Comes into Season

Nowadays we don’t stop much to eat, balancing coffee in the car, scarfing a sandwich on the subway and grabbing a pretzel on the street as we race around town. For the month of April, the chimps have adopted our busy lifestyle thanks to the availability of their very own grab-n-go food, budyenkende.

Frodo: A Glimpse Into the Retirement of an Demonic Alpha Male

Last decade, Frodo was the villain in Gombe, beating down chimps, monkeys, and humans alike on his journey to the top. Nowadays, the retired alpha-male has adopted a new lifestyle as distinguished as the grey hair coating his back.

Photo Diary: A Day in the Life of a Chimpanzee Researcher

What is it like to follow chimpanzees? Relaxing then action-packed. Strenuous but peaceful. Habitual yet unpredictable. While no two days are ever alike, here is a glimpse into a “standard” day in the life of a chimpanzee researcher at Gombe National Park.

Chimps Chow Down on Spring Bouquets

Coinciding with celebrations of Spring taking place in the Northern Hemisphere, the return of the rains to Gombe National Park has brought a spray of a different kind to brighten up the gloom.

Southern Temptations: Why Did Chimps Sneak Into Neighboring Territory?

Bold chimpanzees from Gombe National Park’s central community ventured past the protection of their home territory to revel in the two things that may cause just about any male to risk his life.

Sounds of the Wild: Hear Wild Chimps Go Ape for Ripening Fruit

Mpapa fruit is in season, and it’s making a big impact on the chimps of Gombe and my research into the sounds they make.

Dislocation: My Transition Back to Gombe National Park

In which I return to Gombe National Park to observe the behavior of wild chimpanzees. Luckily, I had a chance to pack this time or I really would be living with the apes.