Dr Susan Cheyne
Asian ape behaviour and ecology, clouded leopard and felid guild conservation and biology, flying fox hunting, conservation biology, environmental education programmes.
In 2000 I started my PhD in Primate Biology and Conservation at Cambridge University and graduated in 2004. During this time I worked at the Kalaweit Gibbon Rehabilitation Project, with which I am still associated as a scientific advisor. My PhD dissertation focused on the rehabilitation and reintroduction of captive-raised gibbons. I quantified the behavioural changes undergone by gibbons in the rehabilitation program, identified criteria to determine when a pair of gibbons was ready for release and quantified the behavioural differences between wild and released gibbons. Additionally I investigated the individuality of female great calls between wild and rehabilitant gibbons and highlighted the various stereotypic behaviours which can affect captive-raised gibbons. I produced Gibbon Welfare Guidelines which are available on the IUCN website. In June 2005 I started the Gibbon Behavioural Ecology Project in the Sabangau Forest, Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. This work was for my Post Doctoral Research with the Department of Anthropology, George Washington University, Washington DC., working with Dr Peter Lucas.
I am a post-doctoral researcher with the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Oxford University, working with Professor David Macdonald. I am Director Gibbon and Felid Research and Conservation at the of the Orang-utan Tropical Peatland Project (OuTrop). This work has confirmed the presence of clouded leopards in this habitat. I am also developing behavioural ecology and density studies on felid and large mammal guilds within the Sabangau and surveys to determine the degree of bushmeat trade in flying foxes as well as indirect and direct hunting pressure on felids. In addition I am responsible for coordinating the volunteer programme developing long-term, wildlife monitoring projects to be carried out by students and volunteers which will contribute to the scientific knowledge of the study area. Since joining Oxford University I have taught undergraduates in zoology, biological and social anthropology including lectures and tutorials and supervised final year projects. Since 2010 I am an associate lecturer at Oxford Brookes University teaching Captive Management on the Primate Conservation MSc. I am the Scientific Director for the BRINCC (Barito River Initiative for Nature Conservation and Communities) Expedition focusing on conservation research in the central highlands of Borneo. I have supervised 10 BSc and 12 MSc projects and 4 PhD students. I am a trustee of the charity MASC (Monkeys Acting in Schools for Conservation). I am also a council member of the Primate Society of Great Britain (PSGB) and serve on the Captive Care Working Party for PSGB. I advise a number of consultancy groups in Indonesia on biodiversity monitoring and surveying methods and consult with the Zoological Society of London about ongoing gibbon and felid projects. I am responsible for the compliance of OuTrop with BS8848, the British Standard for overseas expeditions and fieldwork. I am a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Indonesian Natural History.
- The Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project
- OuTrop Blog
- Batito River Initiative for Nature Conservation and Communities (BRINCC)
Cheyne SM. 2010. Behavioural ecology and socio-biology of gibbons (Hylobates albibarbis) in a degraded peat-swamp forest. In: Supriatna J, Gursky SL, editors. Indonesian Primates. New York: Springer. p 121-156.
Cheyne SM. 2011. Gibbon locomotion research in the field – problems, possibilities and benefits for conservation. In: D'Août K, Vereecke EE, editors. Primate Locomotion: Linking Field and Laboratory Research: Springer. p 201-214.
Cheyne SM, Campbell CO, Payne KL. 2012a. Proposed guidelines for gibbon rehabilitation and reintroduction. International Zoo News 46:1-17.
Cheyne SM, Höing A, Rinear J, Sheeran LK. in press. Sleeping site selection by agile gibbons: The influence of tree stability, fruit availability, and predation risk. Folia Primatologica.
Cheyne SM, Macdonald DW. 2011. Wild felid diversity and activity patterns in Sabangau peat-swamp forest, Indonesian Borneo. Oryx 45(1):119–124.
Cheyne SM, Zrust M, Hoeing A, Houlihan PR, Rowland D, Rahmania M, Breslin K. 2012b. Barito River Initiative for Nature Conservation and Communities (BRINCC) Preliminary Report. Palangka Raya, Indonesia: BRINCC Expedition.
Harrison ME, Cheyne SM, Boonman A, Marchant NC, Husson SJ. 2011. Biodiversity monitoring protocols for REDD+: pitfalls of a one-size-fits-all approach. Tropical Conservation Science 5(1):1-11.
Lucas P, Gaskins J, Lowrey T, Harrison ME, Morrogh-Bernard H, Cheyne SM, Begley M (2011). Evolutionary optimization of material properties of a tropical seed. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 9: 34-42.