Katharine (Kate) Elizabeth Trimbur Thompson
Grad program: Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences (IDPAS)
Undergrad: BA in Anthropology, BS in Community, Environment and Development, Pennsylvania State University
Hometown: Doylestown, PA
Advisor: William Jungers and Patricia Wright
How does it feel to earn an NSF GRF?
Like a daydream. I never thought I would be awarded such a lifetime opportunity, and I’m certainly glad it wasn’t an April Fools’ Day joke!
What will you research and how might it benefit the world?
I hope to generate a fuller knowledge of Malagasy extant and extinct primates, focusing on how humans may have influence populations in the past and how they continue to do so today. There’s a lot we don’t know about some of these wildly endangered animals (such as the aye-aye) and we know even less about the giant extinct lemurs that once roamed the island. I hope to use my research to the benefit of all the primates of Madagascar, human and nonhuman alike.
What sparked your interest in your research, or science in general?
Thanks to early exposure to The Lion King, I became enchanted with East Africa as a young girl. This later solidified into a passionate interest in human-wildlife interactions both in contemporary conservation, and as evidenced in the archeological record.