Kelly Boyer Ontl

Kelly Boyer Ontl


Download CV

  • Visiting Assistant Professor
  • PhD, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Iowa State University, 2017
  • MA, Anthropology, Iowa State University, 2011
  • BA, Biological Foundations of Behavior, Franklin and Marshall College, 2002


Kelly Boyer Ontl is a primatologist and wildlife conservationist studying West African chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) in anthropogenic landscapes of southeastern Senegal. Her primary research interests are in wildlife behavior, human impacts on wildlife, and the advancement of wildlife conservation. She is the founder of the Falémé Chimpanzee Conservation (FCC) project and also works closely with the Fongoli Savanna Chimpanzee Project.  

Areas of Interest

  • Biological Anthropology
  • Primate behavior and ecology
  • West African chimpanzees
  • Artisanal gold mining, culture and the environment
  • Socioecological dimensions of wildlife conservation

Recent Publications

  • Pruetz, JD., Boyer Ontl, K., Cleaveland, E., Lindshield, S., Marshack, J., and Wessling, EG. (2017) “Inferred, within-group lethal aggression in West African chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) at Fongoli, Senegal”. International Journal of Primatology. Read More
  • Pruetz, JD., Bertaloni, P., Boyer Ontl, K., Lindshield, S. Shelley, M., and Wessling, EG. (2015) “New evidence on the tool-assisted hunting exhibited by chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) in a savanna habitat at Fongoli, Senegal." Royal Society Open Science, 2 (4), 140507.
  • Boyer-Ontl, KM and Pruetz, JD. (2014) Giving the Forest Eyes: The Benefits of Using Camera Traps to Study Unhabituated Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) in Southeastern Senegal. International Journal of Primatology, 1-14.


  • K. Boyer Ontl and J. Pruetz (2014) Chimpanzee conservation in the Island of Gold: Mining and globalization in southeastern Senegal. Accepted for presentation at the Midwest Primate Interest Group annual meeting. Madison, WI, October 2014.
  • K. Boyer-Ontl and J Pruetz (2014) Female chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) with infants chose benefits of caves over risk of leopard interaction. Presented at the International Primatological Society Congress, Hanoi Vietnam. August, 2014.
  • K. Boyer and J Pruetz (2013) Falémé chimpanzees show sex differences in cave use. Presented at the Midwest Primate Interest Group annual meeting. Ames, IA, October 2013.
  • K Boyer (2012) The Forest Has Eyes: Using camera traps to study unhabituated savanna chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) in southeastern Senegal. Presented at the International Primatological Society Congress, Cancun, Mexico. August, 2012.
  • K. Boyer and J Pruetz (2011) The effects of human disturbance on chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus) nesting in the mining zone of Senegal prior to iron mine construction. Presented at the American Society of Primatologist. Austin, TX. October 2011