Creation of new fund in memory of Judith Masters and Fabien Genin to promote primatology by African nationals

It was a great shock to us all when we heard news of the deaths of Judith Masters and Fabien Genin. Both were esteemed primatologists committed to primate research and conservation in both South Africa and Madagascar. There are no words that can express our feelings about the tragedy that befell them. They were wonderful and very active members of the International Primatological Society (IPS). All of us at the IPS grieve together and mourn their death.

Judith Masters was a research professor at the University of Fort Hare, South Africa where she headed APIES (the African Primate Initiative for Ecology and Speciation). Judith’s research focused on the diversification and evolution of strepsirrhine primates. Included in her over 100 publications was the book Leaping Ahead: Advances in Prosimian Biology coedited with Fabien Genin and Marco Gamba. The volume contains papers presented at the 2007 International Conference on Prosimians held in Ithala, South Africa organized by Judith and Fabien. Judith and her collaborators have been working on revising the taxonomy of the dwarf galago. Judith was the co-founder and co-chair of the Primate Ecology and Genetics Group (PEGG), the South African Primatology Society. Fabien Genin, originally from Toulouse, France, was a frequent collaborator of Judith’s. He studied the ecology of strepsirrhine primates in Africa and Madagascar focusing specifically on ecophysiology, behavioral ecology and bioacoustics. Fabien also had a faculty appointment at University of Fort Hare. Both Judith and Fabien were incredibly devoted to their students and to the promotion of primatology in Africa. Their involvement with IPS was expressed in their frequent attendance at our congresses, their efforts in promoting the attendance and participation of their students, and their willingness to host an IPS congress in South Africa.

Judith Masters and Fabien Genin left us, but their work remains and will never be forgotten. It is our duty to continue what they started.

IPS will be establishing a fund in memory of Judith and Fabien, The Masters and Genin African Primatology Fund. The fund will promote primatology in Africa and Madagascar by African nationals.

Judith and Fabien, may your souls rest in peace.