Wild Voices: saving the “Skywalker” gibbon and how to crowdfund your own PhD, Carolyn Thompson

This conversation is with my good friend Carolyn Thompson. I was lucky enough to spend six of my 12 months living in the Indonesian jungle with Caz. We had many a wonderful day together searching for orangutans or following red langur monkeys for hours at a time (wading our way through the waist deep mud and finding plenty of ways to trip or slip over). In this conversation we talk about fieldwork mistakes that she has learned from, writing children’s books to inspire conservation, becoming a PhD student without being a natural scientist, and how she has crowd-funded her own PhD to the tune of over £17,000.
Carolyn is a British-Swiss primatologist who grew up in Scotland, Indonesia and Norway. She has spent the past 10 years working in the field of wild primate behaviour and implications for conservation. The majority of her research has focused on Asian primates, with the exception of lemurs in Madagascar. She is currently studying towards a doctorate degree at University College London and the Zoological Society of London, focusing on critically endangered gibbon decline.
In her spare time she is a keen author and writes children’s books to support conservation efforts and raise important awareness about threatened species.
You can support Carolyn’s PhD research on the newly discovered “Skywalker” hoolock gibbon here: https://www.gofundme.com/skywalkergibbonresearch (which features amazing graphic design by http://www.davemccall.co.uk/). You can find out more about Carolyn on her website (https://www.thompsoncarolyn.com/) or on Twitter @gibbonresearch or on Instagram at gibbonresearch.
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