Dr. Karen Strier started a field study on the Northern Muriquis (primates) in 1982. Since then, she has been tracking the muriquis and compiling the data and findings in the Muriqui Behavioral Ecology Database (MBED). MBED looks at stochastic demographic fluctuations and individual life histories to better understand population viabilities and behavior as their territory is altered and negatively affected by humans (source: anthropology.wisc.edu). She was one of the first to conduct such a study. Additionally, due to her long-term involvement in Brazil, where the muriquis are endemic, her research and voice have made a difference in Brazil’s environmental education and efforts.
Other female primatologists undoubtedly helped pave the way for Dr. Karen Strier, such as Diane Fossey, Birute Galdikas, and Jane Goodall. Primatology is now an area of science with one of the highest proportions of female to male scientists (source: CBC).
Rebecca is blessed to have been a part of the MBED lab in her college years at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and she greatly admires these scientists who have revolutionized our understanding of primates.