Sumit (SD): Thank you, Ms. Christine Cook and Dr. Marissa Ramsier, for agreeing to answer a few questions about your recent experience evaluating the gorilla Kumbuka’s hearing and other issues related to primate hearing. Our publication is read primarily by audiologists and others associated with hearing health care. Your expertise and experience will be of great interest to our readers. I am also pleased to report that this conversation about Kumbuka’s evaluation will be accompanied by a web feature about primate hearing in general. How about we start with brief introductions? Please tell us a little bit about who you are. Christine (CC): I am a pediatric audiologist and supervisor of audiology at Nemours Children’s Specialty Care in Jacksonville, Florida; I did my undergraduate and graduate studies at Arizona State University. I have been with Nemours for almost 17 years, but have been an audiologist for over 25 years. My interests include early identification of pediatric hearing loss and amplification. Marissa (MR): I am a biological anthropologist at Humboldt State University in Northern California. I earned my PhD in anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. One of my specialties is sensory ecology, specifically acoustic communication in primates. My colleagues and I have collected data on the hearing sensitivity of more than 30 primate species utilizing the minimally invasive auditory brainstem response method. SD: A specific question for Professor Ramsier: how did you become interested in evolutionary sensory biology and then primate hearing? MR: As a graduate student in anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, I enrolled in a graduate seminar titled, The Evolution of Human Sensory Systems, by Nathaniel Dominy (now at Dartmouth College), who was to become my collaborator in this line of research. I became interested in the topic when I realized how very little we know about primate auditory sensitivity despite decades of extensive documentation of primate vocalizations—in fact, discussion of how well, if at all, various sounds are received by various primate species is basically absent in most of the literature on primate acoustic communication. I was hooked! I still remember the day I walked into Dominy’s office and proposed the topic as the focus on my doctoral research. “It will be a long and challenging road,” he said, “but an interesting one.” He was right. This content is an exclusive benefit for American Academy of Audiology members. If you're a member, log in and you'll get immediate access. Member Login If you're not yet a member, you'll be interested to know that joining not only gives you access to top-notch resources like this one, but also invitations to member-only events, inclusion in the member directory, participation in professional forums, and access to patient resources, tools, and continuing education. Join today!