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Monkey research attracts international attention
2016-07-11

Description: Monkey research attracts international attention  Tags: Monkey research attracts international attention

Prof Trudy Turner from the University of
Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Prof Paul Grobler
from the Department of Genetics at the
University of the Free State, together with one
of the students researching monkey genes.
Photo: Siobhan Canavan

For this year’s Summer School programme, Prof Paul Grobler, from the University of the Free State Department of Genetics focuses on research about the conflict between monkeys and humans in areas where monkeys are regarded as problem animals.

Global expert part of research

This year, Prof Grobler is hosting a group of students and lecturers from the United States of America (USA). The group includes Prof Trudy Turner from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), a global expert on vervet monkeys. She has been working with the Department of Genetics at the UFS for the past fifteen years, and has also been appointed as an Affiliated Professor in the department.

“The Summer School programme is an opportunity for the American Primatology students to gain practical experience in Africa,” says Prof Grobler.

International interest in Summer School

This year’s Summer School programme involves four lecturers and nine students. The lecturers are from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Boston University, and Central Washington University.

“We use the genetic information to determine
how monkeys historically infiltrated the
different areas in South Africa.”

This year’s focus is on the genetic structure of the monkeys in South Africa, and research that is being done on the differences and similarities in monkeys from different areas. “We use the genetic information to determine how monkeys historically infiltrated the different areas in South Africa,” says Prof Grobler.

Local nature reserve acting as host

The group will perform field work, including observing monkeys in the Soetdoring Nature Reserve, as well as laboratory work in the department, where they will be assisted by two laboratory technicians.

Two years ago, Prof Grobler and his department tested this idea on a smaller scale, and now they hope to make this a regular event. 

 

 

 

 

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