A Message from the ASP President


Happy New Year Primatologists! Let’s hope that 2019 will include important discoveries about primates, a deepening appreciation of primates, and meaningful progress toward their conservation. 

I am honored to begin my term as President of ASP, and am anticipating a busy couple of years as I work to continue the advancement of our Society. I’ll be working closely with other members of ASP’s leadership. Our outgoing President, Kim Phillips, has earned all of our thanks for her dedicated guidance over the past two years. Kim will continue to serve as Past-President for the next two years. Although Cory Ross completed her term as our Treasurer, she has come back for more, and is now serving as Secretary.  Lynne Isbell has joined the Board of Directors (BOD) as our President Elect, and Erin Riley has joined the BOD in her role as Treasurer. Many thanks also to Marilyn Norconk (Past President) and Amanda Dettmer (Secretary) who have completed their terms of service on the BOD.

I’d like to thank each of the committee chairs for the 2016-2018 term: Lynne Isbell (Awards and Recognition); Michelle Bezanson and Stacy Tecot (Conservation); Chris Schmitt (Media and Public Engagement); Karen Hambright and Mike Reid (Education); Cory Ross (Finance and Membership); Susan Lambeth and Kris Coleman (Primate Care); Erin Kinnally (Program); Matthew Novak (Publications); Larry Williams (Research and Development) and Brett Frye (Student). We couldn’t do what we did without each of you!

You’ll notice a few recurring names in this list of current committee chairs for the 2018-2020 term: Justin McNulty (Awards and Recognition); Marilyn Norconk (Conservation); Erin Kane (Media and Public Engagement); Mike Reid and Lauren Robinson (Education); Erin Riley (Finance and Membership); Kris Coleman and Susan Lambeth (Primate Care); Corrine Lutz and Doree Fragaszy (Program); John Capitanio (Publications); Daniel Gottlieb (Research and Development) and Colin Brand and Katie Gerstner (Student). Thanks to each of you for your enthusiasm in serving ASP.

Our annual conference this last August 2018 was wonderfully successful. As always, attending our meeting and hanging out for a few days with primatologists was informative, inspiring and fun!  The San Antonio, TX venue was beautiful and convenient.  Another big thanks to Kim Phillips and her group for hosting the meeting. Much appreciated! Erin Kinnally (Chair) and members of the Program Committee put together a fantastic program which is so important to the value of our meeting. Thanks also to Justin McNulty, who serves the role of ASP’s conference coordinator doing lots of “behind the scenes” work to make our meetings function. 

One of my favorite parts of our meeting is honoring some of our outstanding members with ASP small grants and other awards. The small grants conferred by the Conservation Committee and by the Research and Development Committee provide critical funding for students, newly independent scientists, and more established scientists. Gabriele Lubach was presented with the President’s Award for her many years of service as the ASP Historian.  Our Distinguished Primatologist award went to Dorothy Fragaszy of the University of Georgia, and I know we all look forward to hearing more about her work at our up-coming meeting. Congratulations to all!

In looking ahead over this next year, it is clear that ASP needs the involvement of its members more than ever. As you might remember, we have a new strategic plan. The plan gives us a long list of objectives to accomplish over the next several years and I’m grateful for that roadmap. The BOD has carefully reviewed the strategic plan, and has chosen to focus our current efforts on these initiatives:  


STRATEGY 1: Foster an inclusive and diverse community of people studying primates

GOAL 1.1: Recruit and retain diverse membership

GOAL 1.2: Ensure stable membership levels

STRATEGY 3: Ensure the welfare and conservation of primates

GOAL 3.1: Support and engage primate habitat countries and primatologists

GOAL 3.2 Enhance ASP’s role as a conservation advocate

GOAL 3.3 Enhance ASP’s role as a leading organization in primate welfare

STRATEGY 5: Ensure that ASP endures and thrives

                Goal 5.1: Develop strategic partnerships that will benefit ASP


In general, these goals revolve around recruiting more members to our Society, through a variety of avenues. The entire BOD and many of our committee Chairs and committee members will be working in concert to achieve these objectives, and we need your assistance as well. Please respond if you are contacted about helping in this important endeavor. If you have ideas about the strategic plan, please do let me know.

It is never too early to start thinking about what you might want to present at our next conference in Madison, Wisconsin, August 21-24, 2019. The abstract deadlines will be upon us soon.  


 - Mollie Bloomsmith

President, ASP