ISLAND OF LEMURS: MADAGASCAR
DR. PATRICIA C. WRIGHT is an accomplished primatologist,
anthropologist, and conservationist. Considered one of the leading experts on
lemurs today, she is best known for her 28-year study of wild lemur interactions
in Madagascar's Ranomafana forests, which were inaugurated on May 31, 1991 as
Ranomafana National Park, resulting from Dr. Wright's efforts building
relationships with funding organizations and the local villages.
Dr. Wright also founded the Institute for the Conservation of Tropical
Environments at Stony Brook University in New York, which focuses on research,
education, and community outreach in the tropics, and the Centre ValBio (CVB), a
state of the art research campus in Madagascar. CVB also works with local
communities in conservation and development efforts.
Born and raised in Lyndonville, New York, Dr. Wright graduated from Hood
College in 1966 with a Bachelor's degree in Biology. She worked as a lab
technician at Harvard Medical School and then as a caseworker for the Department
of Social Services. During this time, she
bought an owl monkey from a pet store. A trip to Peru with her family to see the
owl monkeys in their native habitat sparked a lifelong interest in primates.
Dr. Wright returned to school, obtaining a Ph.D. in Anthropology from City
University of New York. In 1986, she traveled to Madagascar to search for the
Greater Bamboo Lemur, which was believed, at the time, to have become extinct.
She and her team found the species in the Ranomafana forests, also discovering
an unknown species, the Golden Bamboo Lemur.
Dr. Wright currently works as a professor in the Department of Anthropology
at Stony Brook University.
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