Patricia Wright

Global Perspectives Guest Speaker

Patricia Chapple Wright, Ph.D. is an accomplished American primatologist, anthropologist, and conservationist. Considered to be one of the world’s foremost experts on lemurs, Wright is best known for her 26-year study of social and family interactions of wild lemurs in Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. In 1986, while on an exploratory expedition, Dr. Wright and colleagues discovered a new species of lemur, the golden bamboo lemur (Hapalemur aureus). When this rain forest, and the future of this new species, were threatened by timber exploitation, Dr. Wright's attention turned to conservation.

In the late 1980s she spearheaded an integrated conservation and development project that, in 1991, led to the establishment of Ranomafana National Park. Dr. Wright coordinated the building of the park infrastructure and management, ecotourism development, biodiversity research and monitoring, economic development, health and education within the peripheral zone villages. In 1997 the park management was handed over to the Malagasy Park Service.

Dr. Wright is the founder of the Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments (ICTE) and Centre ValBio (CVB). She is currently a professor in the Department of Anthropology at Stony Brook University. She supervises students in two doctoral programs at Stony Brook: Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences and Department of Ecology and Evolution. Her research interests include primate behavior and ecology, female dominance, male parenting, tropical biodiversity, and biodiversity conservation in Madagascar. Wright has worked extensively on conservation and has received many honors for her work.

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