Repost: Presentation of Mary Lee Jensvold, Director of the Fauna Fondation, “Signs of compassion: Science in sanctuary settings” | February 6

The Anthropology Department of  Université de Montréal will welcome Mary Lee Jensvold, Director of the Fauna Fondation, for a presentation entitled “Signs of compassion: Science in sanctuary settings”

Thursday, February 6 2020, 11:30am
Lionel-Groulx Building, room C-3019
3150, rue Jean-Brillant, Université de Montréal


Sign language studies with chimpanzees have continued for over 50 years. Cross-fostered as infants the chimpanzees showed developmental patterns like human children. As adults, face to face conversations show pragmatic skill such as initiation, modulation of signs, and conversational repair. The complex behavior and intelligence revealed in this research compels empirical studies to inform best practices in animal welfare. For example, if caregivers use species typical behaviors during interactions, does this affect the residents’ behavior? These studies continue at Fauna Foundation, a sanctuary for chimpanzees and other nonhuman animals in Carignan Quebec. Mary Lee Jensvold, PhD, has conducted this research for over 30 years and will present some of the highlights and ways it continues at Fauna Foundation. She is an Associate Director and Primate Communication Scientist at Fauna Foundation and Friends of Washoe, as well as a Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at Central Washington University.