Dr. Remis’ field-based research in the Central African Republic focuses on the behavioral ecology of western gorillas, which were poorly known before she initiated her field research in the late 1980s. In addition to this ongoing work, she is currently engaged in a collaborative field program with ecologists and cultural anthropologists on human impacts on mammals and conservation in the Central African Republic. She also maintains an experimentally based research program on the evolution of feeding strategies among the African apes which employs research on captive apes in zoological facilities. She has authored or coauthored over 14 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals such as the American Journal of Primatology, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, International Journal of Primatology, and Primates. She has presented papers at national and international conferences and has been invited to participate at special conferences on gorilla ecology, and primate locomotion, including recently being the only woman among only 12 senior international scholars of African apes invited to Japan in honor of retiring prominent Japanese primatologist, Dr. Toshida Nishida. Each of these presentations resulted in additional publications in peer-reviewed books. She has served as a reviewer for granting agencies including NSF and academic journals in physical anthropology, primatology, ecology and conservation. She was named to the editorial board at International Journal of Primatology in 2003. At Purdue she has taught courses on Primate Ecology, Conservation and Behavior, Human Evolution, Biological Anthropology at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. She has trained US and African graduate students in African field research and undergraduates from several institutions in zoo based research. Remis Research Group Please follow this link for more information about Dr. Remis, her graduate students and the current research that they are conducting.
Positions at Purdue University
2008 - present Professor of Anthropology
2001 - 2008 Associate Professor of Anthropology
1996 - 2001 Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Service to the Profession
Editorial Board, International Journal of Primatology, 2003 – present
Reviewer, National Geographic Society Grants for Research, 1999 - present
Reviewer, Physical Anthropology and Ecology Programs, NSF, 1997 – present
Honors and Awards
Purdue University Scholar 2006-2011
Fulbright Fellowship Finalist, Central African Republic, 2002
Five Most Important Publications
2009 Remis, M.J. and R. Hardin. Transvalued Species in an African Forest. Conservation Biology v. 23(6):1588-1596.
2006 Hardin, R and Remis, M.J. Biological and Cultural Anthropology of a Changing Tropical Forest: A Fruitful Collaboration Across Subfields American Anthropologist v 108 (2) 273-285.
2004 Remis, M.J., Dierenfeld, E.S. Digesta Passage, Digestibility and Behavior in Captive Gorillas Under Two Dietary Regimens. International Journal of Primatology 25(4)825-845.
1997 Remis, M.J. 1997. Western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) as seasonal frugivores: Use of variable resources. American Journal of Primatology, 43:87-109.
1995 Remis, M.J. 1995. Use of trees by lowland gorillas: The importance of body size and social context. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 97(4): 413-433.
Most Recent Publications
2014 Remis, Melissa J. and C.A. Jost Robinson. Examining short-term nutritional status among BaAka foragers in transitional economies American Journal of Physical Anthropology. Article first published online: 17 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.22521
2011 Jost Robinson, C. A., L. L. Daspit, and M. J. Remis. Multi-faceted approaches to understanding changes and wildlife and livelihoods in a protected area: A conservation case study from the Central African Republic. Environmental Conservation. doi:10.1017/S0376892910000949
2010 Remis, M.J. and J.B. Kpanou. Primate and ungulate abundance in response to multi-use zoning and human extractive activities in a Central African Reserve. African Journal of Ecology. Online Early : 16 SEP 2010, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2028.2010.01229.x
Extramural Grant Support
National Science Foundation 2007, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research 2007, 2008.
National Geographic Society. July-Dec 2005, June-Dec 1995, 1990.
World Wildlife Fund-US& Primate Conservation Inc., 2008, 2005, 2002, June-Aug 1997, 1998
National Science Foundation. Feb, 1999-June, 2000.
2002, 2005, 2008-09 Impacts of human disturbance on mammal populations in the Congo Basin, Dzanga Sangha Reserve, Central African Republic (CAR) Jan-May, 2002, July 2005 ongoing
1999-2001, 2008, 2010 Diet, Nutrition, Food preferences, taste & digestion among apes 1999, 2000, 2001 ongoing
1997, 1998 Apes & the effects of humans on wildlife in the CAR, June-Aug 1997, 1998.
1995 Post-Doctoral research on sex differences in gorilla ecology, CAR June-Dec, 1995.
1990-92 Doctoral Research on the feeding ecology and positional behavior of gorillas, CAR, Aug 1990-Nov, 1992. Pilot Research: Sep-Dec 1988