Peter Williams on Safari during his study abroad, Tanzania, summer 2013
Peter Williams, former student in Asian Languages and Literatures, has received a prestigious Fulbright Research Award to study the endangered golden snub-nosed monkeys of west central China. Graduating in 2014, Peter was an honors student majoring in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior; he also had minors in Chinese and Music. For his research he will be using a combination of GPS, GIS, and remote sensing technologies to understand better how to protect the monkey's habitat and conserve the species. In the first semester he will be taking classes at China West Normal University in Nanchong, Sichuan in preparation for his study. In the second semester, he will conduct field work in a national nature reserve in rural Sichuan, working with researchers from China West Normal University who are studying this monkey.
Readers may remember Peter from his stellar presentations in the Chinese Bridge Speech contests over the last few years (first prize in 2012), which included his performance on the two-stringed Chinese instrument, the erhu.
Golden snub-nosed monkeys, Qinling mountains China (source: C. P. Groves, 2005: Mamal Speices of the World. Baltimore: John Hopkins UP, 174)
Once widespread, golden snub-nosed monkeys are now endangered and are only found in pockets of Sichuan, Gansu, Hubei, and Shaanxi. Hunting has been banned since 1975, but habitat loss from logging is a continuing threat.