Dr. Dittus had his undergraduate training and experience in geology through McGill University and the International Nickel Company (INCO) in Canada. He has done experimental studies on the behavioral development (nature vs. nurture) of song in cardinal birds (Richmondena cardinalis). In the USA, he graduated with a Ph.D. in Zoology (Behavior and Ecology) from the University of Maryland, College Park based on his field research of toque macaques in Sri Lanka. As a post-graduate, he did brief population surveys of sloths and howler monkeys in the forests of Panama.

The early years of his childhood were spent in the Black Forest region of south-western Germany where he acquired an appreciation for nature. This was developed further by life on Vancouver Island, British Columbia and later by many summers camping in the wilderness of the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec. He volunteered and worked in Canadian social welfare programs (Red Feather) as a boy’s camp leader and instructor. Throughout most of career Dr. Dittus has devoted his studies and teaching focused on nature and the outdoors.

Dr. Dittus is Chairman of the Association for the Conservation of Primate Diversity (ACPD) and is a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Conservation Ecology Center, Washington DC, USA. He is also a Visiting Scientist at the Institute of Fundamental Studies in Sri Lanka.