Daniela Hedwig, Ph.D.
I am a postdoc with the Elephant Listening Project at BRP. I conducted my graduate work at the Department of Primatology of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. My graduate work focused on the vocal behavior of wild western gorillas in Central African Republic and mountain gorillas in Uganda. Following a novel syntactic approach, I was able to identify new functional aspects of the gorilla vocal repertoire by analyzing the effects of social and environmental factors on acoustic variation. I am deeply committed to the conservation of African wildlife. While finalizing my doctorate, I developed a long-term biomonitoring program for The Aspinall Foundation in the Bateke Plateau National Park in Gabon, a landscape heavily influenced by human encroachment. Most recently I was working with WWF Germany on wildlife crime related issues, particularly regarding the ongoing African elephant poaching crisis. As a postdoc with the Elephant Listening Project, I am applying my experience in field-based bioacoustic research and practical conservation efforts to the employment of passive acoustic monitoring systems. My goals are to investigate the function of forest elephant vocalizations, elephant abundance and activity in relation to signs of human encroachment, and to help develop a warning system to mitigate human-elephant conflict and support anti-poaching patrols.
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