Kelly Boyer is a doctoral student in the Anthropology Department at Iowa State University and founder of the Falémé Chimpanzee Conservation (FCC) project. Her love of primates as a child has fueled her career path as a primatologist and conservationist throughout her life.
Graduating in 2002 with a BA in Animal Behavior from Franklin and Marshall College, Kelly has since worked as a primate zookeeper at the Houston Zoo, a chimpanzee caretaker at the Center for Chimpanzee Conservation in Guinea, and project manager at the Fongoli Savanna Chimpanzee research site in Senegal. In 2010 she completed her M.A. in Anthropology from Iowa State studying the density and distribution of previously unstudied chimpanzee populations in southeastern Senegal. This research led her to establish the FCC project in the same year to promote chimpanzee conservation through education, stakeholder collaboration and ecological research in Senegal. Today she continues to study unhabituated chimpanzee groups in Senegal using non-invasive methods such as camera traps, nest surveys and interviews with local people. Her research interests are in human/wildlife conflict and effects of anthropogenic activities on chimpanzees and their habitat.
Along with hopping back and forth between Senegal and Iowa, Kelly also enjoys running, salsa dancing, and yoga-ing.