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Research Students - Biological Anthropology
Sandra Tranquilli  
Sandra Tranquilli  

M.Sc Behavioural Ecology, Universita’ degli studi di Roma, La Sapienza, Italy.

Thesis title: Vocalizations and referential content black and white colobus (Colobus polykomos) alarm calls, Tai National Park, Ivory Coast’ (2004)

Ph.D candidate
Working Title: "African great apes distribution, abundance and conservation efforts effectiveness"


Current Research/Academic Interests

My research aims to provide a historical distribution of great apes across Africa and to determine the degree of conservation efforts effectiveness in protecting great apes.

In particular, my interest focuses on the past and present distribution of chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas, and on the success of management and of the long-term effect of conservation on the ground, in areas where great apes occur or have been occurring.

My PhD contributes to a better understanding of ape current conservation status, to evaluate the success of different protection activities and to improve conservation planning in order to ensure persistence of ape viable populations.

This work is supported by:

University College London

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology  

A.P.E.S. (Apes, Populations, Environment and Surveys) database

UCL Thesis Supervisor
Volker Summer (UCL)


Tranquilli, S. et al. (in prep). Conservation strategies and socio-economic development impact on African great apes populations.

Hicks, T.C.,  Tranquilli, S., Kuehl,  H., Campbell, G., Swinkels, J., Darby, L., Boesch, C., Hart, J.,  &  Menken, S.B.J. (submitted) Discovery of a large, continuous population of Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii in the Central Uele Region of Northern DRC. Biological Conservation.

Tranquilli, S., Abedi-Lartey, M., Amsini, F., Arranz, L., Asamoah, A., Babafemi, O., Barakabuye, N., Campbell, G., Chancellor, R., Davenport, T.R.B., Dunn, A., Dupain, J., Ellis, C., Etoga, G., Furuichi, T., Gatti, S., Ghiurghi, A., Greengrass, E., Hashimoto, C., Hart, J., Herbinger, I., Hicks, T.C., Holbech, L.H., Huijbregts, B., Imong, I., Kumpel, N., Maisels, F., Marshall, P., Nixon, S., Normand, E., Nziguyimpa, L., Nzooh-Dogmo, Z., Tiku Okon, D., Plumptre, A., Rundus, A. Sunderland-Groves, J., Todd, A., Warren, Y., Mundry, R., Boesch, C., Kuehl, H. (2011) Lack of Conservation effort rapidly increases African great ape extinction risk. Conservation Letters doi: 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2011.00211.x

Fowler A., Pascual-Garrido A., Buba U., Tranquilli, S., Akosim C., Schoning C., Sommer V. (2010) Panthropology of the fourth chimpanzee. A contribution to cultural primatology. In ‘Primates of Gashaka. Socioecology and conservation in Nigeria’s biodiversity hotspot’, Sommer, V. & Ross, C. eds. Springer New York.

Plumptre A.J., Rose R., Nangendo G., Williamson L., Didier K., Hart J., Mulindahabi F., Hicks C., Griffin B., Ogawa H., Nixon S., Pintea L., Vosper A., McLennan M., Amsini F., McNeilage A., Makana J.R., Kanamori M., Hernandez A., Piel A., Stewart F., Moore J., Zamma K., Nakamura M., Kamenya S., Idani G., Saka T., Yoshikawa M., Greer D., Tranquilli S., Beyers R., Bennett E. (2010) Eastern Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii): Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan 2010-2020. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN

Schel, A.M., Tranquilli, S., Zuberbühler, K. (2009) The alarm call system of two species of black-and-white colobus monkeys (Colobus polykomos and Colobus guereza). Journal of Comparative Psychology. Vol 123(2): 136-150.

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