Rachna Reddy’s first story for the Duke student newspaper was about Ichabod, a newborn baby aye-aye at the Duke Lemur Center. She rose through the paper’s ranks to become a health and science editor as a sophomore and, as a senior, to co-edit the monthly Towerview magazine.
Reddy signed up for the lab of faculty member Brian Hare after a job fair in the fall of her freshman year. As a junior, she spent four months in Kruger National Park in South Africa, where she studied plant and insect communities. With Hare's help, Reddy also spent a semester in Uganda tracking chimpanzees 13 hours a day and making detailed behavioral notes in the style of Jane Goodall. After she left, the research team named one of the Ugandan chimps Rachna.
Reddy returned to the Lemur Center for her senior thesis to study whether yawning is as contagious among our primate cousins as it is among humans, chimps and old-world monkeys. After graduation, worked with service dogs in California. She’s planning to work in the Hare Lab for a year before applying to graduate school in anthropology.