Welcome to Monkey Forest Researcher Rachel!

Did you know that at Monkey Forest, we welcome primatologist researchers in to observe and study our Barbary macaques, to use for their educational publications?


Monkey Forest is the only place in the UK with free-roaming Barbary macaque monkeys – with no cages or bars.


This unique characteristic provides researchers with the perfect conditions to gather up their findings and observe the monkeys, as the environment here in Trentham allows the monkeys to demonstrate their fascinating natural behaviours, right in front of your very eyes.


Researcher Rachel observing a female adult in the French group


In terms of research and conservation, a substantial amount of scientific research surrounding the conservation of and the behaviour of the Barbary macaque has been undertaken here at Trentham Monkey Forest and our sister parks by researchers (Affenburg Salem, La Foret des Singes, Montagne des Singes) dating all the way back to the 1970s.


This season, we welcome a new researcher to the forest, Rachel Blood all the way from Detroit!


Rachel is a current MRes student at the University of Roehampton, London. She is partaking in the Primate Biology, Behaviour and Conservation programme. For her research project, she is collecting data to review social contagion, the way in which information is spread throughout social networks within Barbary macaque troops.


Specifically, Rachel’s study looks at how aggression spreads throughout a social group by understanding how observing an aggressive interaction affects the consequential behaviour, if at all, within female Barbary macaques. Rachel anticipates that there will be an effect on the monkeys behaviour, and therefore, expects to see a decrease in latency of an aggressive interaction initiated by the female bystander.


Around 80% of what is known about Barbary macaque behaviour is the result of studies conducted in our parks. These projects have led to an increase in conservational knowledge for this specific species and in turn raised mass awareness. These research projects have been shared with various primate conservation organisations fighting Barbary macaque and other primate extinction.


Here, you can learn all about the research projects undertaken at Monkey Forest.


We welcome Rachel and thank you for helping to expand the knowledge within primatology through the research of our Barbary macaques!