Andrew R. Halloran
Primatologist, Director of Maderas Rainforest Conservancy

Andrew Halloran, Ph.D., is the author of The Song of the Ape, an absorbing investigation of chimpanzee language and communication. The book chronicles Halloran’s studies as a young primatologist working with a group of semi-wild chimpanzees. It was described by Booklist as a “fascinating book that easily spans the gap between scientific research and popular reading tastes.”


Halloran has been giving talks about chimpanzees—the link between humans and chimpanzees, the language of chimpanzees, the intelligence of chimpanzees, and the conservation of chimpanzees—for almost a decade, beginning with his work with chimpanzees at a fledging research center at Lion Country Safari in Florida. He also speaks to general, non-academic audiences about tropical forest conservation and how primates behave in the wild, deep inside these forests. Halloran also focuses on the difference between scientific realities (in the form of wild chimpanzee behavior and communication) versus the myths we create about the world around us (manufacturing “talking” apes in laboratories via sign language trained chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans). The main idea behind these talks is an appeal to scientific inquiry and reason over pseudoscientific myths.


Halloran is an Assistant Professor of Scientific Literacy at Lynn University in Boca Raton and works as a primatologist for the Maderas Rainforest Conservancy in Nicaragua. He received his Ph.D. at Florida Atlantic University studying biological and linguistic anthropology. 

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The Song of the Ape
Understanding the Languages of Chimpanzees
St. Martin's Press

An absorbing investigation of chimpanzee language and communication by a young primatologist While working as a zookeeper with a group of semi-wild...

Science: How ‘Koko the Talking Gorilla’ can show us the importance of looking at scientific realities versus pseudoscientific myths This talk focuses on how pseudoscience (talking apes, aliens, Bigfoot, etc.) distracts us away from how the world actually works. Reality, as it turns out, is far more fascinating than anything we can make up.
Do Chimpanzees Have a Language? Chimpanzees have calls that they learn, pass down from generation to generation, and incorporate with syntax. Do these features qualify chimp calls as a language? What is the link between chimp calls and human language?
How Captive Animal Studies Can Lead to Conservation in the Wild Zoos can be at the forefront of animal conservation. By researching the way animals breed, eat, and interact in the wild, we can find better strategies for conservation. Halloran draws from his own zoo research for stories and examples.
Exploring the Chimpanzee Mind Chimpanzees are amazingly intelligent and complex. They have been taught to perform math, pick out oppositions, and communicate symbolically. However, there are differences between chimpanzee cognition and human cognition. What are these differences? How does this help us define who we are as a species? What do these differences tell us about human and chimpanzee evolution?
Building and Maintaining a Nonprofit Rainforest Conservancy In 2008, Andrew Halloran and another primatologist formed a partnership with a landowner in Nicaragua to maintain and operate a tropical forest as a non-profit conservancy. Today, this conservancy protects forests in Central America and Africa. In this talk, Halloran looks at the successes and failures of this very recent conservation initiative.
Primate Communication and Conservation How can understanding how primates interact with each other aide in their conservation? Halloran looks at primate communication systems and how, in the past, knowing about them has led to new strategies in conservation and census techniques.
Praise for The Song of the Ape
"Halloran is a wonderful storyteller, and his gripping account of living among the apes alternates between thrills and chills, humor and tender moments.."
-Kirkus Reviews (starred)

"Halloran has written a fascinating book that easily spans the gap between scientific research and popular reading tastes."

"... an engrossing account of communication development among these intelligent animals, presented with genuine affection for them as individuals...With its intriguing mix of personalities and examination of complex primate social relationships, this book will captivate and, most importantly, provide valuable insight into these kindred creatures."
-Publishers Weekly

"This is a fascinating book that provides us with a better understanding of chimpanzees and how they communicate."
-Tucson Citizen