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Contact

Department of Primatology

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6
04103 Leipzig

phone: +49 (341) 3550 - 200
fax: +49 (341) 3550 - 299

Curriculum Vitae

Education

2011-2018 PhD (submitted, expected completion in September), Biology, International Max Planck Research School, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany
Thesis: Challenging the notion of chimpanzees as a strictly forest-adapted species: biomarker variation of chimpanzees on the edge
Supervisor: Dr. Hjalmar Kühl
2010-2011Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Multidisciplinary Graduate Program, Department of Community and Regional Planning, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
2009-2011Masters of Arts, Anthropology, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
Thesis: Rank-dependent effects on travel and ranging patterns of savanna-dwelling chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) at Fongoli, Senegal.
Advisor: Dr. Jill Pruetz
2005-2009Bachelor of Science, Animal Ecology (Wildlife Option; Anthropology Minor), Magna Cum Laude, Honors, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
Advisor: Dr. W. Sue Fairbanks

Professional and field experience

2012-Present PhD Research, Kedougou and Bakel Regions, Sénégal (multiple stays)
2010 Student Researcher, Fongoli Savanna Chimpanzee Project, Sénégal
2009 Research Assistant, Fongoli Savanna Chimpanzee Project, Sénégal
2007-2009 Research Assistant, Great Ape Trust of Iowa, Des Moines, Iowa
2007-2009 Research Assistant, Dr. Jill Pruetz, Iowa State University
2007 Primate Behavior and Conservation course, Danta: Association for Conservation of the Tropics, El Zota Biological Field Station, Costa Rica
2006 Intern, Minnesota Zoological Gardens, Apple Valley, Minnesota

Conference presentations, posters and invited talks

2018Wessling, E.G., T. Deschner, R. Mundry, J.D. Pruetz, R. M. Wittig, H.S. Kühl. Addressing the concept of habitat marginality: physiological responses of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) to seasonality across an ecological continuum. XXVII Congress of the International Primatological Society (Nairobi, Kenya; Invited symposium presentation)
2017Wessling, E.G., H Kuehl, T Deschner, R Mundry, J Pruetz. Seasonal variation in indicators of climatic and ecological stress in savannah-dwelling chimpanzees. 7th European Federation for Primatology Meeting. (Strasbourg, France; Oral Presentation)
2016Wessling, E.G., H. Kuehl, T. Deschner, J.D. Pruetz. Costs of living at the edge: Patterns of seasonal stress in wild chimpanzees at Fongoli, Senegal. XXVI Congress of the International Primatological Society (Chicago, USA; Oral presentation)
2016
Wessling, E.G., J.D. Pruetz, V. Oelze, M.P. Richards, H.S. Kuehl. Living on the edge: Using isotopes to disentangle constraints imposed on chimpanzees at the frontier of the West African chimpanzee range. Chimps in Context. (Chicago, USA; Poster)
2016 Wessling, E.G., H.S. Kuehl. Incorporating long-term great ape research into a regional perspective: Life at the edge of the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus) range. GEO BON Open Science Conference & All Hands Meeting (Leipzig, Germany; symposium talk)
2016 Wessling, E.G. Status update on West African chimpanzee distribution and density models in preparation for IUCN/SSC West African Chimpanzee Action Plan Workshop. UNEP Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) West African Regional Meeting. (Monrovia, Liberia; Oral presentation)
2016 Wessling, E.G. (Panelist). The APES Database REDD+ Carbon Tool as a tool for Identifying Priority Areas for REDD Projects with Co-benefits for Great Ape Populations. UNEP Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) West African Regional Meeting. (Monrovia, Liberia; Panelist) 
2015 Wessling, E.G., Deschner, T., Kühl, H., J.D. Pruetz. Constraints associated with living in a savanna-woodland environment: seasonal stress patterns in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) at Fongoli, Senegal. 6th European Federation for Primatology Meeting. (Rome, Italy; Poster) 
2013 Wessling, E.G. Determinants of the West African chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus) range limit and constraints of savanna woodlands. Wenner Gren Engaged Anthropology Workshop: Atelier des Chimpanzés du Sénégal. (Kedougou, Senegal; Workshop presentation)
2010 Wessling, E.G., J.D. Pruetz. Methodological considerations of daily path length measurements of West African chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus). (Midwest Primate Interest Group Conference. (Chicago, USA; Poster)
2010 Wessling, E.G. Status-dependent differences in home range use among Fongoli chimpanzees. GIS Poster Symposium, Iowa State University, Ames, IA. (Poster) 
2008 Wessling E.G., J.D. Pruetz. Selection of microhabitat and likelihood of germination for mantled howler monkey (Alouatta palliata) dispersed Castilla elastica seeds. ISU Honors Poster Symposium, Ames, IA. (Poster) 

Co-authored conference presentations

2018 S Heinicke, R Mundry, C Boesch, B Amarasekaran, A Barrie, T Brncic, D Brugière, G Campbell, J Carvalho, E Danquah, D Dowd, H Eshuis, M Fleury-Brugière, J Gamys, J Ganas, S Gatti, L Ginn, A Goedmakers, N Granier, I Herbinger, A Hillers, S Jones, J Junker, C Y Kouakou, V Lapeyre, V Leinert, S Marrocoli, M Molokwu-Odozi, PK N’Goran, E Normand, L Pacheco, S Regnaut, T Sop, E Ton, J van Schijndel, E Vendras, V Vergnes, A Welsh, E G Wessling, H S Kühl. Applying the positive deviance approach to identify sustainable social-ecological settings. 5th European Congress of Conservation Biology (Jyväskylä, Finland; Oral presentation).
2018 S Heinicke, R Mundry, C Boesch, B Amarasekaran, A Barrie, T Brncic, D Brugière, G Campbell, J Carvalho, E Danquah, D Dowd, H Eshuis, M Fleury-Brugière, J Gamys, J Ganas, S Gatti, L Ginn, A Goedmakers, N Granier, I Herbinger, A Hillers, S Jones, J Junker, C Y Kouakou, V Lapeyre, V Leinert, S Marrocoli, M Molokwu-Odozi, PK N’Goran, E Normand, L Pacheco, S Regnaut, T Sop, E Ton, J van Schijndel, E Vendras, V Vergnes, A Welsh, E G Wessling, H S Kühl. Modeling western chimpanzee densities to support regional conservation planning. XXVII Congress of the International Primatological Society (Nairobi, Kenya; Symposium presentation)
2018 N Tagg, M McCarthy, P Dieguez, G Bocksberger, J Willie, R Mundry, F Stewart, M Arandjelovic, J Widness, A Landsmann, A Agbor, S Angedakin, A E Ayimisin, M Bessone, G Brazzola, K Corogenes, M ter Heegde, T Deschner, E Dilambaka, M Eno-Nku, H Eshuis, A Goedmakers, A Granjon, J Head, V Hermans, S Jones, P Kadam, M Kambi, K Langergraber, V Lapeyre, J Lapuente, K Lee, V Leinert, G Maretti, S Marrocoli, A Meier, S Nicholl, E Normand, L J Ormsby, A Piel, O Robinson, V Sommer, A Tickle, E Ton, J van Schijndel, H Vanleeuwe, V Vergnes, E. G. Wessling, RM Wittig, K Zuberbuehler, H Kuehl, C Boesch. Nocturnal activity in wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes): evidence for flexible sleeping patterns and insights into human evolution. XXVII Congress of the International Primatological Society (Nairobi, Kenya; Oral presentation) 
2016Arandjelovic M, Boesch C, Dieguez P, McCarthy M, Estienne V, Wessling E, Maldonado N, Kühl H. 2016. The Pan African Programme: The Cultured Chimpanzee - Video, Organic and Ecological Sampling at 40 Temporary Research Sites Across Africa. GEO BON Open Science Conference & All Hands Meeting (Leipzig, Germany; symposium talk)
2010 M. Gaspersic, S. Lindshield, C. Tourkakis, E. Wessling, J. Pruetz. Tool use by Fongoli chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus): Navigating a savanna mosaic environment. XXIII Congress of the International Primatological Society. (Kyoto, Japan; Symposium presentation) 

Professional service and outreach

Active contributor to chimpanzee conservation activities in the West African Region:
2016 – PresentIndependent consultant and scientific advisor for land use planning and industrial activity in West Africa.
2017International Expert/Participant. IUCN/SSC West African Chimpanzee Action Plan Workshop. Monrovia. Liberia.
2016 - PresentScientific Task Force. IUCN/SSC West African Chimpanzee Action Plan Workshop.
2016International Expert/Participant. UNEP Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) West African Regional Meeting. Monrovia, Liberia.
2015Scientist/Participant. UNEP Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP) National Meeting: Senegal. Kédougou, Senegal.
Contributor / Expert Assessment:
2017For: Junker, J., Kühl, H.S., Orth, L., Smith, R.K., Petrovan, S.O. and Sutherland, W.J. Primate conservation: Global evidence for the effects of interventions. University of Cambridge, UK https://www.conservationevidence.com/synopsis/
Citizen science:
2015-PresentChimp & See, (http://www.chimpandsee.org) Scientist/Moderator.
Science communication, documentary assistance:
2017Footage of tool-assisted hunting by a chimpanzee at Fongoli, Senegal included as a contribution to “Premier Homme”, Full-length documentary featured on Arte
2009Footage of tool-assisted hunting by a chimpanzee at Fongoli, Senegal included as a contribution to “Chimps: Next of Kin”, Full-length documentary by National Geographic

Selected press (* denotes interview provided)

[2018. Wessling et al., “Costs of living at the edge: Seasonal stress in savanna-dwelling chimpanzees”]
Rezepte gegen der Affenhitze (Forthcoming) (Berliner Zeitung*)
Hints of Human Evolution in Chimpanzees That Endure a Savanna's Heat  Reprinted in Haaretz, Ynet, profiled in numerous scientific blogs (New York Times*; Profile and Interview)
[2017. Pruetz et al., “Intragroup lethal aggression in West African chimpanzees …”]
In Rare Killing Chimpanzees Cannibalize Former Leader (National Geographic)
Chimpanzees Overthrow Tyrannical Leader (Independent)
In rare display of brutality, chimpanzees beat and cannibalize their former leader (Washington Post)
[2015. Pruetz et al., “New evidence on the tool-assisted hunting exhibited by chimpanzees…”]
Female Chimps More Likely Than Males to Hunt With Tools (Smithsonian)
Chimps That Hunt Offer a New View on Evolution     (New York Times)
Primate Females may have pioneered hunting with weapons (New Scientist)
Wenn Schimpansen-Weibchen zum Speer greifen (Die Welt)
Nuevos datos sobre los chimpancés que han aprendido a cazar con lanzas (La Vanguardia)
Les femmes pourraient avoir été les premières à chasser à l'aide d'armes  (Slate France)