The Current ELP Team

Peter Wrege

© Marie Read

Peter Wrege

Peter became the director of the Elephant Listening Project (ELP) in January 2007. A behavioral ecologist, Peter has made Ithaca his base for more than 30 years, but has been fortunate to work for long periods of time in the field, observing animals in their natural environments and trying to understand what makes them tick. Although he has worked in such exotic places as Venezuela, Panamá, and the Galapagos, his eight years of research in Kenya, East Africa, were particularly influential. He is very happy to be back in Africa to carry on ELP’s research program in the equatorial rainforests of the Congo Basin.

Liz Rowland

©Joe Rowland

Liz Rowland

Liz joined the Elephant Listening Project in 2004 as a data analyst, concentrating on testing automatic detectors to find elephant calls in long recordings that were made in the field. Now she is also helping with the general running of ELP.

Mya Thompson

© Melissa Groo

Mya Thompson

A member of the Elephant Listening Project since its inception in 1999, Mya took a break to study for a PhD and have two babies! Her research focused on improving acoustic monitoring methodologies for African forest elephants and understanding the role vocal signals play in maintaining their social system. She was awarded her doctorate in September 2009.

Melissa Groo

Melissa Groo

Melissa Groo has been a research assistant with ELP since its inception in 1999. Amongst many roles, she is our video expert. She took some leave to have a baby, but now works with us part time. She also keeps up listserves on African/Asian elephant news and resources, sponsored by Save the Elephants. All these articles are archived here, where you can also sign up for the listserves.

Andrea Turkalo

© Katy Payne

Andrea Turkalo

A biologist with the Wildlife Conservation Society and a member of the IUCN's African Elephant Specialist Group, Andrea has devoted the past 20 years to the first demographic study of African forest elephants. She has identified and catalogued over 4,000 individuals dwelling in the Dzanga National Park, Central African Republic and continues to track their family lives and associations. As a founding member of the Elephant Listening Project, Andrea's knowledge of this population is an integral part of the project.

© Melissa Groo

Katy Payne

A lifelong naturalist and amateur musician, Katy began her career studying the evolving songs of the humpback whale. She shifted her focus to elephants in 1984, when she and two colleagues discovered infrasonic calling in elephants by recording at a zoo. The studies that followed from this discovery have shown that elephants use their low-frequency calls to coordinate their social behavior over long distances. She founded ELP in 1999, and was the leader of the project until 2006, when she officially retired. Katy is now writing a book about forest elephants, and continues to play a critical role in all ELP's activities.

 

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© Melissa Groo

ELP team at Dzanga in 2002. left to right: Eric Spaulding, Mya Thompson, Andrea Turkalo, Katy Payne, and Melissa Groo.