In the second installment of our "International Primatology Lectures on Past, Present and Future Perspectives of the Field", Professor Vernon Reynolds reflects on the making of a field station in Uganda by sharing his experiences launching the Budongo Forest Project and eventually building the Budongo Conservation Field Station in 1990.
LiveStream on the CICASP YouTube Channel
In this lecture series, we explore various origin stories as told by famed members of our primatology comunity. All lectures are held in a private Zoom community and live streamed to our CICASP YouTube Channel.
Unlike most academic lectures, which are usually focused on testing scientific hypotheses, this series is designed to offer a feel for how one becomes a professional in the field of primatology. In a way, we might think of it as a career primer for young primatologists just starting their own journeys into the nether regions of Academia. At the same time, anyone might enjoy the stories told of big dreams, exotic locations and species, and the humanity inherent in forging a new path in life and in work.
In addition to Professor Vernon Reynolds, we have also lined up other enticing speakers for future lectures, including Dr. Elisabetta Visalberghi, Dr. Wolfgang Dittus and Dr. Ramesh Boonratana, among others.
Vernon’s undergraduate studies were in Anthropology at University College, London. After that he studied rhesus monkeys at Whipsnade Zoo in the UK and was awarded a PhD.
After the PhD, in 1962, Vernon travelled to Africa with his wife Frankie to make a pioneering field study of chimpanzees living in tropical rainforest. This was in the Budongo Forest in western Uganda.
After returning to the UK Vernon got a job at Bristol University teaching Anthropology, from 1966 – 1972.
After Bristol Vernon’s next position was Lecturer in Anthropology at Oxford University. He remained at Oxford for the rest of his career, becoming Professor in 1987.
In 1990 Vernon founded the Budongo Conservation Field Station for conservation and research on chimpanzees.
He has received awards from the National Geographic Society, the American Society of Primatology, the African Society of Primatology and the International Society of Primatology.
Vernon and Frankie are currently retired and living in Sussex in the UK.