Lab members


The Diademed Sifaka

Study Site: Tsinjoarivo

Tsinjoarivo's Biodiversity



Past and Present Collaborators

Jean-Luc Raharison

Jean-Luc earned his DEA from the Animal Biology Department at the University of Antananarivo (equivalent to a Master’s degree in North America) and is currently working on his PhD thesis. He first joined the Tsinjoarivo research team in 2000 as a research assistant assigned by the Malagasy government. He continued to assist through 2003, before becoming a co-investigator starting in 2004. In 2003 he completed a study of Propithecus diadema positional behavior with Karen Samonds, and beginning in 2008 he became the Executive Director of the NGO SADABE.
Download Jean-Luc's CV-----> [pdf]

Edmond Razanadrakoto, Harison Rakotoarimanana, Gilbert Ranaivoson, Justin Rakotofanala, Charles Randrianarimanana, Fidèle Ranaivomanana, HonorĂ© Rakotondratsimba, Noel Rakotoniaina, Richard Rakotoarisoa, Jean-Pierre Rakotorahalahy, Nirina Razanadrakoto, Chantale Razanadrakoto, Alfred Rahajasoa, Jules Rafalimanantsoa, Naina Rafanomezantsoa – These team members reside in Tsinjoarivo and are irreplaceable as research assistants, camp managers, and ambassadors.

Dr. Colin Chapman, Dept. of Anthropology and McGill School for the Environment, McGill University – Dr. Chapman was my postdoc advisor and is collaborating on nutritional and disease ecology components of my Propithecus diadema research. He is also active in promoting conservation at Kibale National Park in Uganda and co-founded the Kibale Health and Conservation Project.

Dr. Patricia Wright, Dept. of Anthropology, Stony Brook University and Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments– Dr. Wright was my PhD advisor, and we continue to collaborate on comparative studies. She has been running a long-term study of Propithecus edwardsi at Ranomafana since 1986 and is a recognized expert on this genus, as well as lemur ecology and conservation in general.

Dr. Jessica Rothman, Dept. of Anthropology, Hunter College – Dr. Rothman is an expert in primate nutritional ecology, and does extensive field research focusing on gorillas and colobus monkeys in Uganda. She collaborates on nutritional ecology research at Tsinjoarivo, co-ordinating nutritional analyses of lemur food items.

Dr. David Raubenheimer, University of Sydney - Dr. Raubenheimer is a nutritional ecologist working on a wide range of vertebrate and invertebrate taxa, whose research contributions include the development of the influential "Geometric Framework of Nutrition".

Dr. Karen Samonds, Dept of Biological Sciences, Northern Illinois University – Dr. Samonds has assisted with the Propithecus diadema capture missions and behavioral study, and spearheaded a study of positional behavior in 2003.  She is also largely responsible for the success of the Madagascar Ankizy Fund school built in Mahatsinjo in 2004.

Dr. Randy Junge, Vice President of Animal Health, Columbus Zoo and The Wilds – Dr. Junge co-led the 2008 capture mission and co-ordinates the analysis of biomedical samples. He is an active participant in the Madagascar Faunal Group, has participated in lemur captures throughout Madagascar, and manages a database of prosimian biomedical health assessment data.

Dr. Fidy Rasambainarivo, PhD Student, University of Missouri St. Louis - Fidy is a wildlife veterinarian who specializes in infectious disease in wild mammal populations in Madagascar. Fidy has been a collaborator on several capture missions at Tsinjoarivo.

Dr. David Krause, Dept. of Anatomical Sciences, Stony Brook University – Dr. Krause is the founder and director of the Madagascar Ankizy Fund.  In 2004, Dr. Krause, with MAF National Co-ordinator Mrs. Aina Ravelomanantsoa and Karen Samonds, facilitated the donation and construction of a primary school building in the Mahatsinjo village. The previously-existing, hand-constructed primary school building had been destroyed in the cyclone season of 2003.  The school was completed in late 2004 and inaugurated in 2005.

Dr. Laurie Godfrey, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Massachusetts – Dr. Godfrey is a world expert in lemur anatomy, paleontology and life history.  We collaborate on reviews of lemur life history strategies and changes in extinction and endangerment risk through time.

Marina Blanco, Duke Lemur Center – Marina is studying the population and reproductive biology of Microcebus and Cheirogaleus in the rainforests of Madagascar.  This involves fieldwork at both Ranomafana National Park and Tsinjoarivo.

Dr. Ken Glander, Dept. of Evolutionary Anthropology, Duke University – Dr. Glander first recognized the distinctness of the Tsinjoarivo sifakas during the Duke University capture mission in 1999.  He performed additional capture missions in aid of the behavioral study team in 2002 and 2003, and trained team members in capture methodology.

Connie Bransilver – Connie is a world-recognized professional nature photographer, author and trekker and has participated in three capture missions at Tsinjoarivo. Her photos have been instrumental in documenting the morphological variation in the Tsinjoarivo sifakas, and the environmental degradation that threatens them.

Dr. Julie Pomerantz – Dr. Pomerantz, a veterinarian, assisted in the 2002 capture mission and performed health assessments based on serum biochemical analyses, hematologic analyses and examination of endo- and ecto-parasites.

Dr. Brenda Bradley, Dept. of Anthropology, George Washington University – Dr. Bradley specializes in molecular anthropology, including the evolution of coat colour variation in primates; this database includes samples from lemurs at Tsinjoarivo. This project is examining coding sequences, as well as expression patterns for a suite of candidate genes involved in mammalian pigmentation.

Dr. Laurie Godfrey, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Massachusetts – Dr. Godfrey is a world expert in lemur anatomy, paleontology and life history, and works on a broad range of projects at the University of Massachusetts morphometrics lab.

Brooke Crowley, Departments of Geology and Anthropology, University of Cincinnatti - Brooke is currently studying stable isotope geochemistry of primates and plants throughout Madagascar, including the use of stable isotopes as indicators of diet in extinct lemurs. We are collaborating on studies of ecological correlates of isotope variation across plants and lemurs in Madagascar.

Hasina Ravelomanantsoa – As a past student in the Department of Geography at the University of Antananarivo, Hasina performed an independent study of socioeconomic conditions in the Tsinjoarivo region in 2003. Her work was instrumental in drawing attention to the significant environmental and economic impacts of illegal rum (toaka gasy) production.

John Anderson and Erik Patel – While working as a field assistant in 2003, John used professional recording equipment to capture the sadabe’s vocalizations. John and Erik are working together to analyze the vocalizations quantitatively and compare them to other sifaka populations.

I am also grateful to a large number of volunteers who have aided with data collection: Amanda Clapp, Tammy Anderson, Kristen Parks, Elizabeth Hatton, Jodie Lapoint, Nat Melaschenko, Jenny Mitchell, John Anderson, Janos Tardi, Mariam Ali, Ruby Nelson, Laura Danielson, Dan Branch, Sarah Robert, Matt McCartney and Lucy Harper.