Chimpanzees in Context


In 1986, Dr. Jane Goodall and Paul Heltne organized an unprecedented conference, entitled ‘Understanding Chimpanzees,’ to bring together field biologists from the different chimpanzee study sites across Africa, along with researchers studying captive chimpanzees, to discuss contemporary research findings and expand their knowledge of chimpanzee behavior and ecology. Given the success of this meeting, two subsequent conferences have been held in Chicago, in 1991 and 2007. The synthesis of the research covered at these meetings has been published in three important volumes: Understanding Chimpanzees, Chimpanzee Cultures and The Mind of the Chimpanzee.

To continue this important tradition, Lincoln Park Zoo’s Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes, will host the fourth symposium in the series. Chimpanzees in Context is being organized by Steve Ross, Ph.D., Lydia Hopper, Ph.D., and Dave Morgan, Ph.D., along with a team of expert primatologists. Chimpanzees in Context will be held at Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, between 18th – 20th August 2016, which marks the thirty year anniversary since the first ‘Understanding Chimpanzees’ meeting.

To help inform our understanding of chimpanzee behavior and cognition, as well as the conservation and welfare issues that impact the lives of chimpanzees, primatologists must engage in dialogue and collaboration with researchers working with other taxa and from different disciplines. The title of this meeting, Chimpanzees in Context, reflects our desire to promote interdisciplinary discussions. The invited speakers will frame their research in a comparative manner, relating chimpanzees to other species. 

Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes
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