Rebecca Kormos, Ph.D.

Senior Associate


    Ph.D., Biology, University of Stirling, Scotland, 1994,M.Sc., Psychology, University of St. Andrews, Scotland, 1990,B.Sc., Biology, University of Guelph, Canada, 1988

    Dr. Rebecca Kormos is a wildlife biologist, primatologist and conservationist, with a focus on great apes. She serves on the IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group, Section on Great Apes, which she helped to found. Rebecca started her fieldwork in Gabon in the Lopé Reserve in 1990 where she lived for several years doing her PhD research and then for another year working for ECOFAC training Eco guards as part of an ecotourism project. Rebecca then conducted an 18-month nationwide survey of chimpanzees and large mammals in the Republic of Guinea, discovering that Guinea has the largest population of chimpanzees in West Africa and that the majority of them were living in the Fouta Djallon highlands where chimpanzees were not hunted due to cultural and religious taboos. Rebecca subsequently worked at World Wildlife Fund headquarters in Washington, D.C. where she helped to launch a USAID-supported project on civil conflict and biodiversity, before moving to Conservation International to direct their West Africa Program and lead the development of the first IUCN Action Plan for chimpanzees in West Africa. She then worked with colleagues to write a World Bank Strategy for Great Ape conservation, presenting a consensus vision on what will be required to save great apes from extinction. Over the past decade, Rebecca has focused on the impacts of extractive industries and large hydroelectric dams on great apes through the creation of a new IUCN Primate Specialist Group ARRC Task Force. The Arcus Foundation has generously provided funding to Global Wildlife Conservation to support this Task Force for the next three years and Rebecca will be spearheadeding this effort. Rebecca became a National Geographic explorer in 2018. Rebecca is also a founding member of the Women in Nature Network (WiNN), which aims to strengthen the role of women in conservation and natural resource management around the world.

    Aveling, C., Fay, J.M., Ham, R., Langrand, O., Sugal, C., White, L., Hart, J.A., Pilgrim, J., & Mittermeier, R.A. 2002. The Congo forests of Central Africa. In: Mittermeier, R.A., Mittermeier, C.G., Robles Gil, P., Pilgrim, J.D., Fonseca, G.A.B. da, Brooks, T.M., & Konstant, W.R. (Eds.). 2002. Wilderness: Earth's Last Wild Places. pp.108–133. Mexico City: CEMEX Bakarr, M.I., Ampadu-Agyei, O., Adomako, E., & Ham, R. 2002. Bushmeat utilization, human livelihoods and conservation of large mammals in West Africa. In: Mainka, S.A., & Trivedi, M. (Eds.). Links between Biodiversity Conservation, Livelihoods and Food Security: The Sustainable Use of Wild Species for Meat. pp.45–54. Gland [Switzerland]: IUCN. Bakarr, M. Bailey, B., Byler, D., Ham, R. Olivieri, & S. Omland, M. 2001. From the Forest to the Seas: Biodiversity Connections from Guinea to Togo. Conservation International, Washington DC. Catterson, M, Boubacar, T, Diakite, D. & Ham, R. 2001. Programmatic Environmental Assessment of Co-Management of Reserved Forests in Guinea. International Resource Group. Ham, R., Pilgrim, J., Winter, P., Warinwa, F., & Kormos, C. 2002. The Sudd. In: Mittermeier, R.A., Mittermeier, C.G., Robles Gil, P., Pilgrim, J.D., Fonseca, G.A.B. da, Brooks, T.M., & Konstant, W.R. (Eds.). 2002. Wilderness: Earth's Last Wild Places. pp.290–297. Mexico City: CEMEX. Ham, R. 1998. Nationwide Chimpanzee Census and Large Mammal Survey: Republic of Guinea, European Union. Heinicke, S., Mundry, R., Boesch, C., Hockings, K.J., Kormos, R., Ndiaye, P.I., Tweh, C.G., Williamson, E.A. & Kühl, H.S. (2019). Towards systematic and evidence-based conservation planning for western chimpanzees. American Journal of Primatology 2019 Humle, T. & Kormos, R. 2011. Chimpanzees in Guinea and in West Africa. In: Matsuzawa, T. and Humle, T. The chimpanzees of Bossou and Nimba. Springer. p. 393-402. Kormos, R. 2015. Biodiversity Offsetting in the US: Lessons Learned on Maximizing their Ecological Contribution.\_2015\_Biodiversity-offsets-USA.pdf Kormos R, Kormos CF, Humle T, Lanjouw A, Rainer H, Victurine R, et al. (2014) Great Apes and Biodiversity Offset Projects in Africa: The Case for National Offset Strategies. PLoS ONE 9(11): e111671. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0111671 Kormos, R & Kormos C. 2011. Towards a Strategic National Plan for Biodiversity Offsets for Mining in the Republic of Guinea, West Africa With a Focus on Chimpanzees. Prepared for the ARCUS Foundation. Kormos, R., Mittermeier, R. A., & Butynski, T. M. 2004. Primate: An Action Plan for West African Chimpanzees.Species, IUCN/SSC Newsletter, (41): 20. Kormos, R., Boesch, C., Bakarr, M. I. & Butynski, T. (eds.). 2004. Chimpanzés d’Afrique de l’Ouest: Etat de Conservation de l’Espèce et Plan d’Action. Commission de la Sauvegarde des Espèces de l’UICN, Group de spécialistes de Primates, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. 237pp. Kormos, R., Boesch, C., Bakarr, M. I. & Butynski, T. (eds.). 2003. West African Chimpanzees. Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group, IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. Kormos, R. & Boesch, C. 2003. Regional Action Plan for the Conservation of Chimpanzees in West Africa. Center for Applied Biodiversity Science, Conservation International,. Washington, DC. 25pp. Kormos, R. & Boesch, C. 2003. Plan d’Action Régional pour la Conservation des Chimpanzés en Afrique de l’Ouest. Center for Applied Biodiversity Science, Conservation International, Washington, DC. 25pp. Kormos R., Humle T., Carter J., Brugière, D., Fleury M.-C., Matsuzawa T., Sugiyama Y., Carter, J., Diallio, M.S. & Tounkara, E.O. 2003. Guinea. In: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan: The West African Chimpanzee (eds. R. Kormos, C. Boesch and M.I. Bakarr). IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. Kormos, R., Bakarr, M.I., Bonnehin, L. & Hanson-Alp, R. 2003. Bushmeat hunting as a threat to chimpanzees in West Africa. In: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan: The West African Chimpanzee (eds. R. Kormos, C. Boesch and M.I. Bakarr). IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. Kühl, H.S., Sop, T., Williamson, E.A., Mundry, R. et al. (2017). The Critically Endangered western chimpanzee declines by 80%. American Journal of Primatology 79: e22681. McGrew, W.C., Ham, R.M. White, L.J.T. & Harrison, M.J.S. 1997. The primate community of the Lopé Reserve Gabon: Diets, responses to fruit scarcity and effects on biomass. American Journal of Primatology 42:1-24. Mittermeier, R. A., Rylands, A. B., Konstant, W. R., Eudey, A. A., Butynski, T. M., & Ganzhorn, J. U., Rodriguez-Luna, E., Walker, S. & Kormos, R. 2004. Primates. Species (42): 65-66. July-December 2004. Mittermeier, R., Valladares-Pádua, C., Rylands, A.,Eudey, A., Butynski, T., Ganzhorn, J., Kormos, R., Aguiar, J., & Walker, S. 2005. Primates in Peril: The World's 25 Most Endangered Primates. IUCN, International Primalotogical Society, Conservation International. Oglethorpe, J., Shambaugh, J and Kormos, R. 2004. Parks in the crossfire: strategies for effective conservation in areas of armed conflict. In: PARKS: War and Protected Areas. IUCN, Glan, Switzerland. Shambaugh, J., Oglethorpe, J., & Ham, R. 2000. The Trampled Grass: Mitigating the Impacts of Armed Conflict on the Environment. Biodiversity Support Program. Tutin, C., Stokes, E., Boesch, C., Morgan, D., Sanz, C., Reed, T., Blom, A., Walsh, P., Blake, S., & Kormos, R. Regional Action Plan for the Conservation of Chimpanzees and Gorillas in Western Equatorial Africa. Conservation International. 2005. Washington, DC. Tutin, C.E.G., Ham, R.M. & Wrogemann, D. 1995. Tool-use by chimpanzees (Pan t. troglodytes) in the Lopé Reserve, Gabon. Primates 36:169-192. Whiten, A. & Ham, R. 1992. On the nature and evolution of imitation in the Animal Kingdom: Reappraisal of a century of research. In Advances in the Study of Behaviour Volume 21, pp.239-283. Academic Press, Inc.