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Who We Are: Michelle Merrill

Dr. Michelle Merrill recently received her Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology and Anatomy at Duke University. Her research focuses on communication, cooperation, and intelligence in non-humans in an attempt to understand how humans evolved in these areas. She investigated the origins of culture by studying population differences in wild orangutans on Sumatra. She has also studied bonobos in captivity and in the wild. In her studies of these great apes, it has become increasingly clear that social tolerance and cooperation (a capacity for friendliness) is vital to the exchange of information and skills which is the key to cultural and technological development. Her close work with these other species has also shown her that intelligence and understanding on our planet is not limited to humans. She currently does ecoliteracy consulting through Emergent Systems, to cultivate a better future for humans and other species here on Earth. She hopes that contact with terrestrial and extraterrestrial intelligence will help humans to treasure and preserve the variety of intelligent creatures who have evolved here. She looks forward to a friendly exchange of information and skills with any non-humans about ourselves, themselves, and the universe we share. Michelle Merrill

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The Invitation to ETI was founded by Prof. Allen Tough
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