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UCL Division of Biosciences

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Grant Lecture

Adventures in Gibbonology: The past, present and future of Southeast Asia's small apes.


Professor Helen Chatterjee, UCL Genetics, Evolution and Environment.
Venue: Darwin Lecture Theatre
Date: Thursday, 12 November at 6.30pm

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2015 is the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Year of the Gibbon; a year dedicated to celebrating and raising awareness of Southeast Asia's enigmatic small apes. Often considered the poor relation of their great ape cousins, gibbons are frequently overlooked and have received considerably less attention than other flagship mammals, despite the fact that the rarest ape in the world is a gibbon (Nomascus hainanus, the Hainan gibbon). In this lecture Helen Chatterjee will explore the history of gibbons and our association with them. She will discuss their evolutionary and biogeographic history, providing insight into the intrinsic and extrinsic factors which have driven their radiation over the past c.20 million years. In tandem, she will explore the varied human associations with gibbons stretching back for thousands of years and will argue that it has never been more timely to increase our efforts to better understand and conserve these beautiful but rare primates.