The Balinese Macaque Ethnoprimatology Field Project is directed by Dr. James E. Loudon, an Assistant Professor in the Anthropology Department at East Carolina University and Dr. Michaela Howells, an Assistant Professor in the Anthropology Department at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington.  You can read their profiles below.   

Dr. Michaela Howells


Dr. Michaela Howells is a holistically trained anthropologist who studies human biology and reproductive health.  Dr. Howells has continuously worked in American Samoa since 2010 investigating the effects of prenatal psychosocial stress on pregnancy outcomes of Samoan women and the effects of these stressors on their infants’ health. Her research has been funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the National Science Foundation and she works closely with the American Samoan Department of Health (DOH) and LBJ Tropical Medical Center. Dr. Howells is currently examining the effects of the Zika virus on the health of the Samoan people.  

Dr. Howells began conducting research on the Balinese macaques in 2003.  She is a trained primatologist, and as a MA student at Iowa State University she used an ethnoprimatological approach to understand the interconnections between savanna chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and humans at Fongoli, Senegal.  She has also studied capuchin monkeys (Cebus capucinus) and howling monkeys (Alouatta palliata) in Costa Rica.   

Dr. James E. Loudon


Dr. Loudon is a biological anthropologist who focusses on primate behavioral ecology and ethnoprimatology.  His ethnoprimatological work in Bali has focused on the local peoples’ perspectives of the macaques they live among in rural settings and in larger cities.  In Madagascar, Dr. Loudon conducted ethnographic interviews among the Mahafaly people to assess their attitudes in regards to the ring-tailed (Lemur catta) and Verreaux’s sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi) they live among.  Dr. Loudon uses method and theory in nutritional ecology and stable isotope ecology to understand nonhuman primate behavior.  He has worked in South Africa studying the feeding ecology and nutritional ecology of free-ranging chacma baboons (Papio ursinus) with an eye towards understanding the dietary patterns of early hominins and conducted his dissertation work in southwest Madagascar studying the parasite ecology of ring-tailed lemurs and Verreaux’s sifaka.  His work in Bali will be an extension of his former research, and that of many other primatologists who have worked at the Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary to understand the dynamics of human-macaque interplays.