Bethan Morgan, Ph.D

Scientist, Central Africa Regional Program

Bethan Morgan, Ph.D., serves the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research as head of the Central Africa Program. In this position she oversees all aspects of the Institute’s activities in Central Africa, with a strong focus on the region between the Sanaga River in Cameroon and the Cross River in Nigeria, a biodiversity hotspot with a wealth of understudied and endemic species. She conducts and manages research and conservation activities at three permanently manned research stations in the Ebo Forest, Cameroon, where detailed work on a wide variety of flora and fauna is ongoing.

Dr. Morgan joined the San Diego Zoo in March 2002, initially as a Millennium Conservation Research Postdoctoral Fellow based in Cameroon. Her interests include the ecology and conservation of gorillas, chimpanzees, a wide variety of monkey species, as well as forest elephants and Central African botany.

Dr. Morgan received her doctorate in 2000 from the Department of Biological Anthropology at the University of Cambridge, UK. Her doctoral thesis investigated niche separation in large-bodied mammalian frugivores, particularly forest elephants, gorillas, and chimpanzees in a remote rain forest reserve in Gabon, Central Africa. Prior to her doctorate, she obtained a master’s degree, also from the University of Cambridge, and a first-class honors bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of Bristol, UK.

Upon completing her doctoral degree, Dr. Morgan joined the Biological Anthropology Department at Harvard University, where she was a visiting fellow and taught the core science course on human behavioral biology, earning an excellence in teaching award in the process. She has also been an assistant lecturer, supervisor, and examiner for the University of Cambridge’s Department of Biological Anthropology.

Dr. Morgan is a member of the IUCN Primate Specialist Group (Section for Great Apes), the International Primatological Society, and the Society for Conservation Biology. She holds the position of honorary research fellow in the Department of Psychology at the University of Stirling, Scotland.