Lives Remembered: Doctor Ymke Warren

Dr Ymke Warren, who was murdered in her home in Limbe, Cameroon on 29 June by unknown assailants, was a conservationist with the Wildlife Conservation Society who worked to protect the world's rarest great ape, the Cross River gorilla. Quiet and even-handed, she excelled in connecting with people and inspiring others to protect Africa's wildlife heritage.

Born in London, Warren, pictured right, was the research co-ordinator of the WCS's Takamanda-Mone Landscape Project and oversaw the monitoring of Cross River gorillas and other endangered wildlife in the Takamanda National Park and Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary, both recently established for the conservation of these primates. The Cross River gorilla is the rarest of the four gorilla subspecies, found only in Cameroon and Nigeria, with fewer than 300 left.

Warren had a passion for mountain climbing and had hoped to establish an African Three Peak Challenge modelled on the National Three Peak Challenge in the UK, as a fund-raising tool. She succeeded in reaching the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, and had plans to climb Mt Kenya and Mt Stanley, the second- and third-highest.

Warren's conservation work spanned nearly two decades across Africa, and she maintained a special focus on primates. In 2003, she completed her doctoral thesis on olive baboons in Nigeria, the first such study on the species in the forests of West Africa. She also studied the world-famous mountain gorillas of the Virunga Mountains of Rwanda, where George Schaller and Dian Fossey conducted their seminal studies on the subspecies.

Her first position for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, at the Karisoke Research Station where she was a research assistant, was interrupted by the outbreak of the Rwandan genocide in 1994. She later returned to the country, completing her Masters thesis on mountain gorillas in 1998 (from University College London) and serving briefly as acting director of Karisoke in 1999.

Warren provided guidance for aspiring conservationists and field staff, most recently supervising students in Cameroon. She graduated from UCL in 1992 and completed her PhD at the University of Surrey in 2003.

Ymke is survived by her parents, Keith and Henny Warren, and her brother, Mark Warren, all from Chichester, and her partner, Aaron Nicholas, who also lives in of Limbe but was originally from Caernarfon in Wales. Her parents have established the Ymke Warren Gorilla Conservation Fund to help generate support for Africa's promising conservationists.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Magento Front End Web Developer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Front End Web Developer is re...

Investigo: management accountant

£250 - £300 per day: Investigo: Growing international marketing business requi...

Recruitment Genius: ORM / Online Reputational Consultant

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ORM Consultant is required t...

Recruitment Genius: Facilities Manager

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of educat...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore