PRIMATE ECOLOGIST turned CAPACITY BUILDER
I am a biological anthropologist who specializes in primate behavior & ecology and I began my career as an academic, doing research and teaching.
After helping to develop research and conservation leadership workshops for young professionals in Asia, I discovered that I could harness the skills I honed through the years of PhD training to support young people's growth. Through that experience, as well as my own challenges as a first generation college goer, I found I could offer perceptive, insightful, and thorough professional development guidance to young adults and make a difference in their lives.
So, I branched into gaining expertise in career training with the same dedication as when I followed nocturnal lemurs in Madagascar! I've now advised 100’s of young adults, spearheading programming that advances professional training of young adults in the US and globally. My training in primate behavior data collection skills had sharpened strong analytical observational skills, which I now leverage to effectively cut through career-related overwhelm, distill information quickly, and help young adults make decisions that align with personal talents, strengths, interests, and skills.
That's me. I build capacity. Through teaching, research, conservation, and through guiding young adults to find their calling or make their calling reality through honest advice and practical steps.
What about you? How can I help you find or pivot your professional life?
I studied the world’s smallest living primates, mouse lemurs in Madagascar--solitary, nocturnal, rainforest dwelling animals--the field research that garnered me a PhD.
CHECK OUT RESEARCH:
I've done research on the world's largest living primates, gorillas, in a nation-wide zoo-based study on sexual behavior & menopause in female gorillas!
CHECK OUT RESEARCH:
The American Society of Primatology provides expert knowledge to protect lemurs, monkeys and apes. Check out my newsletters for our Conservation Action Network:
Follow this link to get to Amazon.com, and ASP will receive a percentage of any purchases you make. All proceeds go to the Conservation Fund.
Expanding Conservation Leadership in Suriname, South America's smallest country!
My State Department award helps me to provide training in research, professional development & leadership skills to students in Environmental Sciences in Suriname's main university ADEK. https://www.facebook.com/AdeKUS.official/
I also collaborate with young people in to educate against the primate pet trade, engage with conservation agencies, and do outreach to district policy makers to evaluate biodiversity in forest fragments.
CHECK OUT MY LATEST PAPER ON THE PRIMATE PET TRADE: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ajp.23079
"I met Sylvia during my second year of college, as I suddenly realized I had no idea exactly where I wanted my career to go, or how to get there. ... in hindsight, I feel that I gave her very little to work with during our initial thirty-minute meeting. Yet, by the end of it she had shown me to a variety of options, including a PhD, government jobs, and nonprofits, connected me with people who could tell me more about the various paths I could take...Sylvia was able to quickly gain a sense of my abilities and interests and saw more potential in me than I was able to see at that time. One of the things I most value about my time working with Sylvia is her honesty. She would kindly but firmly tell me when my resume needed reworking, if a cover letter was not good enough, and gave me an accurate sense of my ability to get certain internships. With her help, I was able to intern at Heartland Alliance International, a global nonprofit working for human rights...."
-A.S., student, University of Chicago
"I met Sylvia at a critical time while completing my PhD dissertation. Almost immediately Sylvia identified the blocks that were preventing me from moving forward with the writing process.
Before meeting her, the impediments were not obvious to me, nor was writing up the dissertation a straight forward path. With decades of experience, Sylvia brought clarity by asking targeted questions about a frustrating situation and helping me to see it with renewed eyes. She was insightful in pinpointing the small steps that led to productive outcomes and provide very practical guidance for this intensive process. She doesn’t command you to do tasks. You are empowered to complete them for yourself. Most importantly, Sylvia gives advice that leads to action. Every graduate student should have a Sylvia in her life!"
C. S., PhD Candidate in Anthropology, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.