A Burbank resident who has long admired the work of notable primatologists will spend her summer studying bamboo lemurs in Madagascar on the path to becoming a primatologist, or someone who studies primates, herself.
As a girl, Emma Thurau would dress up in a safari outfit and lecture her parents on the importance of saving primates from extinction.
She also studied the works of Jane Goodall and Alison Jolly, two noted primatoligists.
“What really intrigued me is the works of Alison Jolly, who is the first in the 1960s to go to Madagascar to study about the biology, conversation, ecology and social behavior of lemurs. I read all of her books,” Thurau said in a statement.
At Cal State Los Angeles, where Thurau is currently a student, professors shared their enthusiasm with her about primate behavior and genetics, furthering her pursuit to conduct her own research in the field.
The university awarded Thurau a $1,000 grant to conduct research on lemurs in Madagascar as part of its Phi Kappa Phi award.
She will graduate next week with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology.
After her three-month expedition this summer, she will attend graduate school in Illinois with plans to focus her research on wild-lemur behavior and ultimately return to Madagascar to establish a field site.
“I am looking forward to exploring Madagascar… to learn about the behavior of these endangered primates and to understand their natural habitat,” she said.