Meet Leakey Foundation Baldwin Fellowship Scholar Mercy Akinyi and learn what studying disease in wild baboons tells us about how diseases start, progress, and transmit to others. Mercy Akinyi was born in Nairobi, Kenya, Eastern Africa. She grew up in Kenya and attended the University of Nairobi from 2000 to 2005 graduating at the top of her class with a Bachelors in Veterinary Medicine (BVM). She then went on to undertake her Master of Science in Medical Physiology (Msc.) degree at the same university from 2006 to 2010. While undertaking her degree, Mercy joined the Institute of Primate Research (IPR) as a veterinarian and an assistant research scientist. Her research interests are focused on understanding sources of variance in disease risk in wild populations of non-human primates. Research in disease ecology aims to understand principles that influence disease transmission over time and space. Studies of disease ecology are thus central to our understanding of disease prevalence and of zoonoses (diseases that can be transmitted between animals and humans).