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Dr Helen Morrogh-Bernard

Dr Helen Morrogh-Bernard

Daphne Jackson Fellow

 -

 The Farmhouse 

 

The Farmhouse, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Cornwall, TR10 9FE, UK

I am co-founder of the Orang-utan Tropical Peatland Project (OuTrop) and Director of Orang-utan Research. OuTrop is a not-for-profit organisation that conducts research and conservation in the Sabangau peat-swamp forest in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. This area contains the largest population of orang-utans in the world (~7000 individuals).

I first started working at the site in 1995 and our early efforts were focused on raising awareness of the region’s importance and working with our Indonesian partners to protect the forest, succeeding in getting protected-area status in 2004. Much of our research has since focused on the impact of illegal logging and drainage and ecological monitoring to support habitat management.

My personal focus is on orang-utan behavioural ecology. My main focus at the moment is on their social behaviour, as well as developing conservation initiatives to restore damaged areas of forest. 

Qualifications

PhD, MSc, BSc

Research

Research interests

I am interested in orang-utan behavioral ecology and conservation. I am also very interested in the restoration and protection of the tropical peatlands where they are found; including local conservation efforts through education and awareness programmes.

Research projects

The primary aim of my research is to identify the nature of the orang-utan’s social network to better understand their social oganisation, through the application of social network and genetic analyses. Network analyses can also be used to describe population structure and how individuals interact with their environment. Information gained from this research will be used to better understand their behavior, and also useful for conservation programmes. This project has clear implications in the field of orang-utan conservation, both in-situ, through consideration of minimum viable areas for naturally-functioning populations, and for reintroduction and translocation projects that need to understand social organisations when defining release strategies, as social groups chosen for release may play an important role in the success of a release programme.

Grants/Funding:

Daphne Jackson and NERC Funded Fellowship.

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