NYCEP Alumnus Profile

Paul Telfer

Country Director WCS-Congo Program


Ph.D. 2005, New York University



Overview of Research

Paul Telfer’s interests in conservation began when he started working in Africa as a primate specialist in Sierra Leone and Gabon in 1990s. While investigating primate viruses and the origins of the HIV epidemic, Paul pioneered non invasive sampling techniques for wild primates. Earning his PhD at New York University and the New York Consortium for Evolutionary Primatology (NYCEP), Paul carried out field work in Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Gabon and the Republic of Congo (ROC) contributing to a wide range of studies including primate hybrid zones, primate virus origins of HIV/SIV, primate biogeography, bushmeat consumption, and the effects of Parks on indigenous people. Paul started with the Wildlife Conservation Society in 2004 and became the director of the WCS-Gabon Pateaux Bateke Project, an integrated landscape management project linking protected area management with communities. Since July 2008 Paul has been the Country Director for the WCS-Congo Program, partnering with government and communities managing wildlife and its habitat in national parks, reserves, and buffer zones in the Republic of Congo.