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Laia Dotras


Laia Dotras is the Research Co-director of the Jane Goodall Institute Spain and Senegal.

She has both a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Masters degree in Primatology from the University of Barcelona. Laia’s first steps in the field of primatology were taken in 2002 when she conducted a study into the rehabilitation and resocialisation of rescued chimpanzees at Mona Foundation’s Primate Rehabilitation Centre in Spain.

In 2006, she arrived in Sierra Leone to volunteer at Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary, looking after the rescued chimpanzees and conducting an environmental education programme. Also in Sierra Leone, she participated in a survey conducted in 2008, to assess large mammal diversity and chimpanzee density at Loma Mountains Non-hunting Forest Reserve. The results obtained led, a few years later, to the upgrading of this important area for chimpanzee conservation to the status of National Park.

In 2009, Laia travelled to the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo to work in a community-centred conservation programme around Lwiro Primate Rehabilitation Centre. In 2011, she started teaching primate conservation at several Spanish universities, and since 2017, Laia has worked in the research, conservation, sustainable development and education programmes of Jane Goodall Institute Spain in Senegal and Guinea.

Laia focuses her research on the ecology and behaviour of the critically endangered western chimpanzees so that better decisions can be made about how to protect them and preserve their habitat, and how to mitigate conflicts between humans and chimpanzees in a challenging landscape of coexistence.

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