Fulbright Scholar to Indonesia Dr. Wendy Erb recently returned from Sandakan, Sabah in Malaysia where she was involved in various activities related to her research interests with the support of the US Embassy in Malaysia and Fulbright’s East Asia Pacific Regional Travel Program.
Dr. Erb, an Anthropologist from Rutgers University, is currently on a Fulbright Scholar grant for a research project in Indonesia called “Are the Long Calls of Bornean Orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii) Costly Signals of Male Health and Energy Status?”
In Malaysia, she gave a presentation about integrating orangutan research and conservation at Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre (SORC) and another presentation about Bornean forest fires and orangutan conservation at the Sabah Society. Besides, she also visited the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (SBCC), Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary, and the Kinabatangan River.
“My visit further provided me the opportunity to expand my professional network, meet with other scientists and vets working on pressing wildlife conservation issues in Malaysian Borneo, and increase public education about the critical need for better biodiversity conservation policies across Borneo,” she said.
During the visit, Wendy, who has long worked at the Indonesian side of Borneo, and her hosts discussed future collaborations with Sepilok Orang Utan Conservation Centre.
“I am deeply grateful to my incredible hosts, Ms. Shanon Phang (Cultural Programs, US Embassy in Malaysia), Drs. Laura Benedict and Pakeeyaraj Nagalingam (Sabah Wildlife Department), Ms. Syliva Alsisto (Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre), and Dr. Wong Siew Te (Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre) as well as the staff and students who made my visit a lot of fun and a great success!” said Wendy.
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