Lemurs are cute and interesting, and they live in only one place: Madagascar. As primates, they are related to humans, monkeys, and apes. They are also endangered.
Dr. Travis Steffens has wanted to help save lemurs since he was a little boy. On the way to living that dream, he found out that he couldn’t save these animals without also helping people and the environment. His charity, Planet Madagascar, works to save lemurs and improve the lives of people who live with and near them.
In this episode, host Maggie Fox chats with Dr. Steffens, Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology at the University of Guelph. Listen as he describes how lemurs are more than just adorable animals.
Dr. Travis Steffens is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Guelph. His research program investigates human-lemur interactions within a shared environment. He leverages conservation biogeography, spatial ecology, and One Health approaches to understand how lemurs interact with and respond to human-caused disturbance. Travis is also interested in how humans are impacted by applied conservation measures targeting lemurs and their habitat. Specifically, he is interested in understanding the factors determining lemur species richness and occurrence in habitat shared wtih people.As a public anthropologist, his aim is to leverage the above approaches to provide applicable solutions that improve the lives of people, improve the conservation situation for lemurs, and protect the environment that people and lemurs share. He is also a member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Species Survival Commission, Primate Specialist Group for Madagascar, an International Fellow of the Explorers Club, a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society, and founding Director of Planet Madagascar, a charity focused on helping to create sustainable forest communities in Madagascar.
Hosted and written by Maggie Fox
Special guest: Travis Steffens
Produced and edited by Samantha Serrano
Music composed and sound edited by Raquel Krügel