Award-winning Ugandan veterinarian to speak about ‘Saving Gorillas by Saving People’

Note to Reporters: A photo of Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikuoska is available with this release at

Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka of Uganda, a veterinarian and founder of the nonprofit Conservation Through Public Health, will speak about her research in East Africa with both mountain gorillas and human health care on Monday, Oct. 7, 4-5 p.m., in the Colorado State University Lory Student Center, Room 228.

Dr. Kalema-Zikusoka has been honored around the world for her work to improve African public health to save endangered mountain gorillas from human-borne illnesses.

While she was studying at the University of London’s Royal Veterinary College, Dr. Kalema-Zikusoka conducted research on intestinal parasites in wild chimpanzees and mountain gorillas. She found gorillas visited by tourists had a higher parasite rate than those in the wild, suggesting tourism can have a negative impact on the health of mountain gorillas. The gorillas share 98 percent of their genetic makeup with humans.

These findings led Dr. Kalema-Zikusoka to fund Conservation Through Public Health, a grassroots nonprofit organization based in her native Uganda with a U.S. office at Colgate University’s School of Environmental Studies. The center promotes conservation and public health with a vision to control transmission of disease where people, wildlife, and livestock meet. In 1996 she also set up the first veterinary unit in the Uganda Wildlife Authority and developed the first community education campaigns on the risks of human-gorilla disease transmission.

Dr. Kalema-Zikusoka, named one of eight “revolutionary minds in science” by Seed Magazine, has received numerous honors including the San Diego Zoo’s Conservation in Action Award; the Whitley Gold Award for conservation, presented by Princess Anne in London; and the 2012 Most Innovative Development Project Award from the Japanese Ministry of Finance for the development of the Gorilla Health Center in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda. Dr. Kalema-Zikusoka has been featured in documentaries on the BBC, National Geographic Channel, Animal Planet and Uganda Television.

This lecture is sponsored by CSU’s School of Global Environmental Sustainability, the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and Sustainable African Ecosystems and Societies. For more information, go to