For her undergraduate and master’s degrees, Crickette Sanz studied experimental psychology at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington. She spent several years working at the Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute. In 1999, Sanz began studies in biological anthropology at Washington University in Saint Louis. Her dissertation research focused on the behavioral ecology of wild chimpanzees in the Goualougo Triangle, Republic of Congo. After obtaining her doctoral degree, Sanz spent five years working as a post-doctoral research fellow in the Primatology Department of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. Currently, she is an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at Washington University in Saint Louis.
She and David Morgan are co-directors of the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project in the Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park, Republic of Congo. In 1999, the project was initiated to increase our knowledge of the central subspecies of chimpanzee and use this information to address the threats facing these apes in western equatorial Africa. The scope of the project was recently expanded to include a focus on the western lowland gorillas that coexist with chimpanzees throughout most of central Africa. Although northern Congo has long been considered a stronghold for ape conservation, great apes in this region are at risk of disease epidemics, commercial bushmeat hunting, and mechanized logging. The Goualougo Triangle Ape Project’s objectives involve long-term, site-based research and conservation activities which have the aim of effectively addressing the major threats to great apes in the Congo Basin.
Sanz’s research focuses on primate behavioral ecology, chimpanzee tool technology, primate sociality, and great ape conservation. She is a adjunct scientist at Lincoln Park Zoo, a research associate of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s International Program in Republic of Congo and an active member of International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Primate Specialist Group on Great Apes.