Patricia Wright is an accomplished scientist, explorer and conservationist whose work is focused in Madagascar. In the late 1980’s after discovering the Golden Bamboo Lemur, she spearheaded an integrated conservation and development project that led to the establishment of Ranomafana National Park (RNP), 1991. In 2007 RNP was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Dr. Wright is the recipient of various awards including the MacArthur Genius Award in 1989. In 1995 she received the “Chevalier d’Ordre National” (Madagascar’s National Medal of Honor) and in 2004 the “Officier d’Ordre National” from the President of Madagascar in recognition of her conservation work. In 1990 she received an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree from Hood College, in 2001 an Honorary Degree from the University of Fianarantsoa in Madagascar and in 2007 Honoris Causa, honorary degrees from both the University of Antananarivo and the University of Fianarantsoa. Dr. Wright received the Distinguished Primatologist Award from the American Primatology Association and the Hauptman Woodward Pioneer in Science Medal in 2008. She has been a member of the Committee for Research and Exploration at the National Geographic Society since 2000, and the National Geographic Society Conservation Trust since 2002. In 2004 she became an AAAS Fellow. In 1999 Dr. Wright appeared in Me and Isaac Newton, a feature-length documentary directed by Michael Apted. She has appeared on various television programs including Dan Rather Reports in 2009 and was the science advisor for Mutant Planet’s Madagascar episode in 2011 in which she also appeared.
Dr. Wright is currently a professor in the Department of Anthropology at Stony Brook University. She supervises students in two doctoral programs at Stony Brook; Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences and Department of Ecology and Evolution. Dr. Wright founded ICTE in 1992 and has served as the Executive Director since that time.