Primatology the Career You Never Knew You Wanted | Travis Steffens | TEDxStMaryCSSchool

As an eight-year-old I declared that when I grew up I was going to become a monkey. Realizing the impossibility of this endeavor I decided that I was going to study monkeys instead. Years later I got a PhD in Biological Anthropology and spent nearly a decade in tropical forests searching for primates. I achieved my dream. But how did I get here? My talk describes the journey I took from eight-year-old wannabe monkey to primatologist, conservationist, and explorer. Travis Steffens is a lemur researcher, conservationist, and explorer. His research investigates how lemurs, the most endangered group of animals in the world, survive human disturbance. Committed to conservation Travis is the Founding Director of Planet Madagascar, a community conservation organization trying to build sustainable forest communities in Madagascar ( Through Planet Madagascar he has launched a fire management program, conservation education campaign, forest restoration initiative, and built a women’s cooperative around sustainable agroforestry. As an International Fellow of the Explorers Club Travis co-led an expedition to the Tsingy of Madagascar in 2014 to search for undiscovered cave systems, fossilized dinosaur footprints, and archaeological sites. Travis also has a passion for travel and has led more than 60 group tours around the world including in North and Central America, Russia, Madagascar, and Southern Africa. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at