Keriann McGoogan is an English-major turned primatologist turned writer.

Through sheer dumb luck, she took Introduction to Physical Anthropology as an elective in her first year at the University of Calgary, and a particularly good instructor inspired her to pursue an undergraduate degree in primatology.  

McGoogan completed her Master’s degree at the University of Calgary, spending six months in Belize studying black howler monkeys.  During that time, she kayaked rivers searching for monkeys, waded through seasonally flooded forest to measure trees, and contended with a disturbingly large mosquito population.  

At age twenty-five, Keriann traveled into the wilds of Madagascar to study lemurs in their natural habitat and to set up a permanent field site in the remote northwest—a site to which she could later return to do research for her PhD in biological anthropology.  

Despite careful planning, the trip spiraled out of control. Food poisoning, harrowing backcountry roads, grueling hikes, challenging local politics, malaria, and an emergency evacuation would turn a simple reconnaissance into an epic adventure.  

In this video from the 2021 Women Blaze Trails festival, Joe Grabowski joins McGoogan to learn more about her memoir and the wonders of Madagascar's incredible biodiversity, especially its many varieties of lemurs. 

To learn more about Keriann McGoogan and her memoir, Chasing Lemurs, visit her website at