About the Artist

I have dedicated my adult life to the natural sciences as a teacher, researcher and conservationist. My formal training is as a biologist, botanist and ecologist. An interest in primates, especially great apes, led to five years of original research on wild bonobos (pygmy chimpanzees) in the Lomako Forest of central Zaire. After continuing political unrest in that country made further research untenable, I helped establish an ecological monitoring program in Ranomafana, a national park in Madagascar created to protect threatened species of lemur. I then served as executive director for two research stations based in Ugandan parks with notable primate populations. The first, Kibale National Park, is the site of many prominent studies of chimpanzees and monkeys. The other park, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, shelters half the world’s population of mountain gorillas.


I taught myself to carve wood in Africa in 1984 and later studied lost wax casting in the U.S. After 15 years of relegating my sculpture to second place, I shifted my career in 1999 to focus more on my art. Now I express my appreciation for nature in the jewelry and sculptures I produce. I use my experience and knowledge of anatomy and behavior to create pieces that ring true to their subject.




Photograph by Nancy T. Handler