During the mission, the students accompany the teams in order to develop their theses in connection with the project and thus advance the research. 



Julie Bonnald

Julie Bonnald is a veterinarian and studied at the Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire d'Alfort before turning to the study of wildlife and its conservation. In 2016, she completed a Master 2 in population genetics at the University of Paris 6 and joined the UMR 7206 of the Museum where she is studying, under the direction of Sabrina Krief, the causes of facial malformations in a community of chimpanzees in Uganda with a genetic approach. Since the end of 2017, Julie has been carrying out a thesis-CIFRE between the MNHN and Kinomé under the direction of Sabrina Krief and Nicolas Métro. She works on the interactions between humans and elephants at the interface between agriculture and forest. The objective is to better understand the conflict situation on the edge of a national park in Uganda, in order to provide villagers with recommendations to better protect their fields, in a non-violent manner, from elephant intrusions.

As part of her PhD, co-supervised by Sabrina Krief of the MNHN and Nicolas Métro of Kinomé, Julie Bonnald is studying the interactions between humans and elephants on the edge of Kibale National Park in Uganda. To cope with elephant intrusions into crops, with the help of the Uganda Wildlife Authority, villagers have implemented a number of methods (trenches, hive fences, patrols...). During two 3-month field missions to Sebitoli, from January to April 2018 and from November 2018 to January 2019, Julie gathered information on the conflict, the methods used to push back elephants and their effectiveness, during 9 group interviews in the villages and with 42 farmers living close to the forest. A monitoring of episodes of conflict with elephants was also set up in 6 villages from March 2018. The collection of this information is still in progress thanks to the help of a field assistant who uses the Kobo Collect' application on smartphone to record and send the questionnaires. A total of 425 conflicts have been recorded in these 6 villages over the last 19 months. Initial results show that the villages are affected in a heterogeneous way, and that this seems to be related to the presence or absence of passive methods such as trenches, as well as their maintenance. The objective of this work is to come up with recommendations for the villagers so that they can effectively protect their fields, in a non-violent manner, from elephant intrusions, and thus improve the cohabitation between humans and wildlife.



Chloé Couturier

After a bachelor's degree in biology at the Pierre and Marie Curie University, Chloé Couturier is moving towards a master's degree in ecology at the University of Perpignan via Domitia. She joined UMR 7206 of the MNHN in 2015 as an intern in the "Primate Interactions and Environment" team where she studies the food availability of bonobos, supervised by Flora Pennec and Victor Narat. In 2016, she joined the MNHN's Master 2 Anthropology of the Environment team and completed an internship under the supervision of Sabrina Krief on the energy balance of chimpanzees in the Sebitoli region, marking her first field mission in Uganda. In 2017, she coordinates a school outreach programme between Sebitoli and Paris within the Sebitoli Chimpanzee Project. Since May 2018, Chloé Couturier has been carrying out a Cifre thesis between the MNHN and the Nicolas Hulot Foundation for Nature and Mankind, directed by Sabrina Krief, on the man-chimpanzee conflict and the consequences of maize consumption on the behaviour of great apes. To date, she has taken part in 4 field missions, i.e. almost 10 months spent in the forest.

As part of her thesis, co-supervised by Sébastien Galy of the Fondation Nicolas Hulot pour la Nature et l'Homme and Sabrina Krief of the MNHN, Chloé Couturier is studying the diet, activities and movements of chimpanzees in order to determine how their daily energy balance relates to the availability of forest resources and the consumption of high-energy domestic foods such as corn.  The behavioral and spatial data are derived from three years of daily monitoring of chimpanzees by Chloé Couturier and SCP assistants using a "focal-nest-to-nest" observation protocol that she set up at Sebitoli during her Master 2 internship. This protocol generates a large volume of data and their processing before analysis is a fundamental part of this thesis. At the Fondation Nicolas Hulot pour la Nature et l'Homme, Chloé Couturier works within the Rajako programme, which supports the actions of associations working for the in situ conservation of primates, including the Great Apes Conservation Programme. She analyses the existing partnership between NGOs and research through the sponsorship and awareness actions common to the Foundation, the PCGS and the MNHN.



Camille Lacroux holds an AgroParisTech engineering degree and a Master 2 in Biodiversity Ecology and Evolution from the University of Paris-Saclay since 2018. Following her academic training, she did internships with Emmanuelle Pouydebat (UMR 7179) and Sabrina Krief (UMR 7206) for several months. On two occasions, she went to Uganda to work on the Sebitoli Chimpanzee Project led by Sabrina Krief to monitor the behaviour of chimpanzees for a total period of more than 4 months. She is currently working on her PhD thesis between the MNHN and the Phocéenne to study the chimpanzees' nest-making behaviour at Sebitoli and to use this as a basis for, if possible, identifying natural substances that repel insects and mites.

As part of her thesis in the Primate Interactions and Environments team supervised by Sabrina Krief and co-supervised with Emmanuelle Pouydebat of the FUNEVOL team, Camille Lacroux is studying the choice of nest species in chimpanzees according to a comfort and/or self-medication dimension. Within the framework of this project, Camille is studying the characteristics of the nests and, in particular, the mechanical flexibility and mosquito and tick repellency of several species of trees in the Sebitoli forest in order to highlight the potential choices that chimpanzees make each night when choosing a nest. Thus, this study will also allow to apprehend their knowledge about their environment and which factors are privileged during nest building between comfort and/or pathogen avoidance. Moreover, if repellent properties are indeed found for certain plants, their presence and distribution in and around the park will be studied to envisage a development of the project with the local communities and with the Phocaean.