Marietta Danforth, PhD

Director of the Great Ape Heart Project

Detroit Zoological Society

Dr. Marietta Dindo Danforth graduated from Emory University with a B.S. in Anthropology and received her Ph.D. in Evolutionary Psychology from the University of St. Andrews.

Dr. Danforth has run the day-to-day operation of the Great Ape Heart Project since it began in 2010. She manages the cardiac exam review process, database submissions, and creating protocols and training support materials for use in the management of great apes. She leads collaborative research projects between zoos with the overall goal of building the capacity of professional and support staff at various zoos, sanctuaries, National Primate Centers and hospitals involved in the care of great apes.

Her current research is focused on establishing clincal-pathologic echocardiographic correlations, developing blood pressure reference ranges for great apes, and investigating potential genetic markers for cardiovascular-disease in gorillas and bonobos.

Previous Research: Orangutan Copy Cats