Professor Patricia Chapple Wright
Ph.D. City University of New York, 1985
Phone: (631) 632-7620
Dr. Patricia Chapple Wright has made major contributions in the biology, ecology, conservation and behavior of living primates. She discovered a new species of lemur, Hapalemur aureus in 1987 and helped establish the Ranomafana National Park to protect it. Her research concerns focus on behavior, scenescence, parasitology, predation, rainforest ecology, climate change and conservation studies of Malagasy lemurs. Patricia Wright earned a BA from Hood College in 1966 and a PhD in Anthropology from City University of New York in 1985. Dr. Wright has led over 40 field expeditions to Peru, Paraguay, East Malaysia, the Philippines and Madagascar. She has held professional appointments at Duke (1983-91) and Stony Brook Universities (1991-2013) and is the Executive Director of the Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments at Stony Brook (1992-2013) and the Founder and International Director of the Centre ValBio research station in Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. She has authored over 150 scientific publications and is the holder of many high honors. She is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2004) as well as other professional associations. She was awarded a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (1989-1994), a "Knight of the National Order" in 1995, the "Officier Medal" in 2003 and the "Commandeur Medal" in 2012 by the government of Madagascar. Dr. Wright has been the recipient of awards including the Hauptman Woodward Pioneer in Science Medal (2008), Distinguished Primatologist Award from American Society of Primatology (2008), honorary degrees from Hood College and the University of Antananarivo and a Distinguished Alumnae Award from Hood College (2008). In 2012 she was a finalist for the Indianapolis Prize for Conservation. Her books include "Madagascar: Forests of our Ancestors", "Tarsiers: Past, Present and Future", and "High Moon over the Amazon: My Quest to Understand the Monkeys of the Night." Dr. Wright was a member of the National Geographic Society Committee for Research and Exploration, and is a member of the Board of NGS Conservation Trust, Duke Lemur Center, Madagascar Fauna Group and IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group. Her work has been featured in the film "Me and Isaac Newton" directed by Michael Apted (1999) and "IMAX 3D Madagascar: Lemurs" directed by David Douglas (2014). Dr. Wright was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2013.