School of Anthropology & Conservation

Excellence in diversity Global in reach

Dr Tatyana Humle

Senior Lecturer in Conservation and Primate Behaviour

Primate Conservation, Human-Wildlife Interactions, Rehabilitation and Reintroduction, Animal Culture


profile image for Dr Tatyana Humle

School Roles and Responsibilities

Programme Convenor for MSc Conservation pathways

Academic Background

My main research interests include wildlife-human resource competition with a special focus on characterizing patterns of co-existence and conflict among great apes and developing and evaluating mitigation schemes, and great ape rehabilitation and reintroduction. I am also interested in the links between primate conservation, society and development, especially large-scale extractive industrial activities.

I also nourish a keen research interest in the study of learning and culture in non-human animals, with a special focus on primates, the respective roles of the social and physical environment on learning in young, inter- and intra-community behavioural differences in chimpanzees, behavioural ecology and cognition.

I have been conducting fieldwork on wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) in West Africa since 1995, and worked on captive cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) from 2003-2005.

Since 2007, I have been acting as scientific advisor and research coordinator to the Chimpanzee Conservation Center, the only chimpanzee sanctuary in Guinea, located in the High Niger National Park, and am an affiliate member of the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA).

I am a member of the executive committee of the IUCN (The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) Section on Great Ape Conservation (SGA) of the Primate Specialist Group and the scientific commission of GRASP (The Great Apes Survival Partnership, UNEP).

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Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Book section
Humle, T. and Hill, C. (2016). People–primate interactions: implications for primate conservation. in: Wich, S. A. and Marshall, A. J. eds. Introduction to Primate Conservation. Oxford University Press, pp. 219-240. Available at:
Neufuss, J. et al. (2018). Gait characteristics of vertical climbing in mountain gorillas and chimpanzees. Journal of Zoology [Online]. Available at:
Neufuss, J. et al. (2018). Manual skills for food processing by mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society [Online] bly071. Available at:
Bryson-Morrison, N. et al. (2017). Activity and Habitat Use of Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) in the Anthropogenic Landscape of Bossou, Guinea, West Africa. International Journal of Primatology [Online]:1-21. Available at:
Garriga, R. et al. (2017). Perceptions of challenges to subsistence agriculture, and crop foraging by wildlife and chimpanzees Pan troglodytes verus in unprotected areas in Sierra Leone. Oryx [Online]:1-14. Available at:
Neufuss, J. et al. (2017). Comparison of hand use and forelimb posture during vertical climbing in mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). American Journal of Physical Anthropology [Online] 164:651-664. Available at:
Bryson-Morrison, N., Matsuzawa, T. and Humle, T. (2016). Chimpanzees in an Anthropogenic Landscape: Examining Food Resources across Habitat Types at Bossou, Guinea, West Africa. American Journal of Primatology [Online] 78:1237-1249. Available at:
Rust, N. et al. (2016). Why Has Human–Carnivore Conflict Not Been Resolved in Namibia? Society & Natural Resources [Online] 29:1079-1094. Available at:
Showing 8 of 65 total publications in KAR. [See all in KAR]
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2008-bushouting-orphan chimps

Teaching includes:

  • SE308: Skills for Anthropology & Conservation
  • DI531: Human Wildlife Conflict and Resource Competition (convenor)
  • DI884: Research Skills for Natural Sciences (convenor)
  • DI892: Current Issues in Primate Conservation (convenor)
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Great ape rehabilitation and reintroduction

The chimpanzee sanctuary in the ‘Parc National du Haut Niger’ (PNHN) in Guinea is managed by the Chimpanzee Conservation Center (CCC), a founding member of the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA). The CCC currently holds more than 40 chimpanzees, primarily all victims of the pet trade. The PNHN, which extends over ca. 10,000 km2, is one of the last remaining important formations of dry forest-savanna mosaic in West Africa and a site of high conservation value for both ungulates and wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus). This park also harbours leopards (Panthera pardus) and a small remnant population of lions (P. leo). Based upon the IUCN reintroduction guidelines, PASA approved the release of a group of 12 chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) from the CCC in the PNHN. These chimpanzees were released in June 2008, 32 km from the sanctuary. A further 5 chimpanzees were added to the core release group in August 2011.
My role as scientific advisor and research coordinator with the CCC focuses primarily on the following three areas:

  • Evaluation of rehabilitation and release procedures
  • Post-release monitoring employing sophisticated tracking systems
  • Evaluation of conservation impact of the release program on the PNHN
    Bossou chimpanzees Copyright: Anup Shah


Principle Collaborators

Tatyana training local keeper with GPS: CCC 2008


Wildlife-Human Resource Competition with a special focus on great apes

  • Characterizing resource competition between humans and chimpanzees and evaluating global and local variables exacerbating human-great ape conflict (on-going).

This project aims to collate data in areas where chimpanzees inhabit degraded and/or fragmented landscapes to understand drivers of competition for resources and space and instances of aggression between humans and chimpanzees. This interdisciplinary project necessitates an understanding of chimpanzee behavioural ecology, socio-economic drivers of agricultural and natural resource exploitation by humans, development and human population movements, as well as people’s perceptions and attitudes towards wildlife across locations. By using GIS and multivariate analysis techniques, these datasets will ultimately serve to help evaluate determinants of co-existence and conflict and guide the development and testing of mitigation and prevention strategies in great ape range countries.

  • Evaluation of the impact of environmental education and sustainable development initiatives on great ape conservation (proposal)

A project aimed at evaluating environmental education and sustainable development initiatives in the context of occurrences of chimpanzee-human conflict and local people’s perception of conservation could help further develop locally adapted conservation strategies and initiatives. Such kinds of studies are especially relevant to countries, such as Guinea and Sierra Leone, where the majority of great ape populations reside outside protected areas and chimpanzee-human resource competition is prevalent.

Principle Collaborators

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I am interested in supervising PhD students in the fields of primate conservation, rehabilitation and reintroduction and on issues pertaining to human-wildlife interactions, especially relevant to the impact of extractive and agricultural activities on great apes.

Current Postgraduate Students

  • Thirza Loffeld, PhD Student, 2016-ongoing (joint supervision with Dr Bob Smith, Dr Simon Black, Dr Susan Cheyne (Borneo Nature Foundation), Dr Madhu Rao (Wildlife Conservation Society)): Professional Development in Wildlife Conservation: identifying gaps and barriers from case studies in developing countries

Past Postgraduate Students

  • Lydia Tiller, PhD Student, 2018: Understanding how land-use change in the Transmara District in Kenya is driving human-elephant conflict and elephant movement.
  • Johanna Neufuss, PhD, 2017: Forelimb kinematics and hand use during locomotion and non-locomotor behaviours in wild African apes.
  • Nicola Bryson-Morrison, PhD, 2017: Chimpanzees in an anthropogenic landscape: The nutritional and human drivers behind their feeding ecology and behaviour.
  • Lucy d’Auvergne, PhD, 2015: Chimpanzee ecology and conservation within a mineral mining context in the Nimba Mountains, Southeast Guinea.
  • Wai-Ming Wong, PhD, 2012: Sun bears in a changing landscape: Habitat use, population trends and conflicts with humans in Sumatra.
  • Melissa Ongman, MSc. by research, 2011-ongoing: Behavioural evaluation of rehabilitated orphan chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) at the Chimpanzee Conservation Center, Haut Niger National Park, Guinea, West Africa.
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Member of:

  • Scientific Commission of GRASP (Great Apes Survival Partnership, UNEP)
  • Executive Committee of the IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group section on Great Apes
  • Representative of the Societé Francophone de Primatologie-SFDP to the European Federation of primatology-EFP
  • Education Committee of the International Primatological Society-IPS
  • Ad Hoc Committee resulting from an IPS (International Primatological Society) roundtable on Primate Conservation and Poverty
  • International Primatological Society (IPS), American Society of Primatologists (ASP), Primate Society of Great Britain (PSGB), Societé Francophone de Primatologie (SFDP), European Federation of Primatology (EFP), the Leakey Foundation, the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB)

Bossou village in Guinea where people and wild chimpanzees cohabit.

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This project, funded by the Arcus Foundation in partnership with DICE, University of Kent, UK and Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary, Sierra Leone, aims to improve survey methodologies of wild chimpanzees in degraded landscapes harbouring oil palms and propitious to agricultural development and to further our understanding of the reliance of chimpanzees on the oil palm in such areas (click on image to play).

I am available to provide topical comment or in-depth discussion of topics related to great apes, primate conservation, rehabilitation and reintroduction, as well as human-wildlife conflict issues, and social learning and culture in animals. My main species and region of focus are chimpanzees in West Africa, especially Guinea and Sierra Leone.

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Last Updated: 25/07/2018