Born and raised in Chile, i am now a primatologist based in UK. I am doing my PhD at Oxford University.
I study the social behaviour of wild bonobos in DR Congo, and in particular their play behaviour. Their wild joy illuminates our understanding of human evolution and our own sociality, versatility and tolerance.
This understanding is crucial to teach and guide us in our decisions towards a challenging future. To adapt to a changing world we will need cooperation and bonding in one hand, and creativity and versatility on the other. You can contribute to the endeavour of acquiring some of this knowledge.
Bonobos are our living closest relatives (together with chimpanzees), but they might go extinct within our lifetimes. My aim is to contribute to the survival of these great great apes through research, community participation, and raising global awareness.
Much of the funds will go to cover medicines and basic necessities for the local Longando community, and specially for the schools (writing materials, dictionaries) and women (soap, salt, vitamins, etc).
What We Need & What You Get
The total expedition costs nearly US$50,000. DRC has very little logistics so its very expensive to fund the travel and the materials necessary for fieldwork in the jungle. For example just the internal flights cost $13,000 (via charter Cessna with the Mission Aviation Fellowship, each flight US$6,500). I have applied to other sources of funding who i hope will contribute. I am fundraising here for $10,000 since if i had set a higher goal which i later don't reach then 9% of the money will be claimed back by the site. However if the goal is exceeded the surplus goes into the project. I have a detailed budget which i am happy to send upon request.
The money from the other funders go to support my travel and research permits, whereas the money raised here goes largely towards conservation through community support: donations to the health center, schools and for the workers of the project.