Dr. Rich Bergl has overseen the Conservation and Research Program at the North Carolina Zoo since 2007. He began his career as a gorilla keeper at Chicago’s Brookfield zoo and later received a Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology from the City University of New York. He has conducted conservation research in Africa for over 15 years, with particular focus on innovative approaches to study and monitor the Critically Endangered Cross River gorilla. Rich’s research has used genetic data and geographic information systems technology (GIS) to assess population structure, habitat connectivity and population viability for the entire Cross River gorilla subspecies. Recently he has partnered with both governments and NGOs to develop a mobile computer-based monitoring system for use throughout the gorillas’ range.
Rich has worked in Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea (Bioko), Liberia, Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya and has conducted genetic research as a Visiting Scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology Molecular Primatology Laboratory. He has also worked as a Conservation International Fellow, analyzing broad-scale biodiversity patterns and conservation practices in West Africa. He sits on the Executive Committee of the IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group Section on Great Apes and is a member of the IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group. He serves on the conservation committees of the International Primatological Society, the American Society of Primatologists and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is Conservation Advisor to the Gorilla Species Survival Plan and Great Ape Taxonomic Advisory Group. In 2011 he was appointed as a Fellow at the Wildlife Conservation Society.
Rich is an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Biological Anthropology at Duke University and at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
1.800.488.0444 or 336.879.7602
Email Rich Bergl
North Carolina Zoo
4401 Zoo Parkway
Asheboro, North Carolina