Published: March 14, 2002

Professor Alison Jolly, known for her extensive contributions to primatology and primate conservation, will give a public lecture titled "Can the Lemurs Save Madagascar?" March 19 at 7 p.m. in room 270 of the University of Colorado at Boulder's Hale Science Building. 

The lecture will be presented by the department of anthropology and funded by the Charles Joseph Norton Endowment.

Jolly's 30 years of research on the lemurs of the island of Madagascar have given her a unique perspective on the difficulty of developing viable conservation programs. She will discuss one of the most difficult, yet essential, biodiversity issues: how to establish conservation programs that both maintain the diversity of plant and animal wildlife and are feasible for the island's economically impoverished human inhabitants.

Jolly currently is a visiting scientist in the School of Biological Sciences at Sussex University and has taught at Princeton for several years as a visiting lecturer in ecology and evolutionary biology. She is a former president of the International Primatological Society and is a fellow of the American Academy of Science.

Also known for her substantial contributions to human evolutionary theory, Jolly is the author of several books on primatology and conservation, including her most recent book, "Lucy's Legacy: Sex and Intelligence in Human Evolution," which won the 1999 Professional/Scholarly Publishing Award of the Association of American Publishers.

Jolly has made significant contributions to paradigm shifts in primatology. She was the first to recognize the social power of females in groups and she formulated the intelligence hypothesis, which argues that intelligence and mentality are consequences of social opportunities. 

After spending more than 30 years studying female-dominant ring-tailed lemurs of Madagascar, Jolly persists in thinking of people as just another primate species.