Meet A Scientist
Click Magazine for Kids|September 2017

Dr. Erin P. Riley is an anthropologist, a scientist who studies the ways that humans, apes, and monkeys live, act, and learn, both long ago and now. Lately, she’s been studying monkeys called moor macaques on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. Here’s what she told Click about her work.

Rachel Young

CLICK: Why did you start studying monkeys, Erin? Was it because they’re so cute?

ERIN: It was more because they’re so active and interesting! In school, I was very curious about ancient people and civilizations. I thought I would become an archaeologist, digging up old cities. But when I went on my first archaeological dig, I could tell right away it wasn’t for me.

CLICK: Why not?

ERIN: Archaeologists work very slowly. They stay in the same spot all day, carefully sifting through dirt to uncover broken bits of ancient treasures. I wanted to be more active. Following monkeys through the forest is more my speed!

CLICK: What’s it like to work in the forest?

ERIN: Sometimes people think I just walk into the forest and monkeys magically appear, like in a movie! But it can take days of hiking through hot and buggy forests to find monkeys to study. And even when my team and I find a group, we have to wait for them to get habituated.

CLICK: Habituated? That’s a word I’ve never heard before!

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