David Morgan graduated from Western Carolina University in 1992 where he majored in Biology. Following his undergraduate studies, Morgan worked at several zoological institutions including the Smithsonian Institute’s National Zoo and Busch Gardens in Tampa. His long-term interest in African great apes led him in 1997 to a research assistantship with the Mbeli Bai Gorilla Project located in the Nouabale-Ndoki National Park of the Republic of Congo. In 1999, Morgan initiated a study of chimpanzees in the nearby pristine forests of the Goualougo Triangle. His investigation on the social structure, spatial distribution and feeding ecology of three neighboring communities of chimpanzees was the focus of his doctoral research at Cambridge University, U.K.
Morgan along with Crickette Sanz are co-directors of the Goualougo Triangle Ape Research Project which is a long-term research project focusing on the behavioral ecology of sympatric chimpanzees and gorillas in the Congo Basin. As a research fellow of the Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes at Lincoln Park Zoo and the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Congo Program, Morgan collaborates with other field biologists and scientists on research projects aimed at improving the conservation status of chimpanzee and gorilla populations throughout Africa.
His particular research interests include evaluating the effects of mechanized logging on apes, assessing the coexistence of gorillas and chimpanzees in lowland forests, and evaluating the spatial distribution and organization of neighboring chimpanzee communities in terms of territoriality and habitat use. Morgan also serves on the Section of Great Apes of the IUCN’s Primate Specialist Group and is a founding member of the A.P.E.S. database initiative.