Dr Helen Murrogh-Bernard, Scientific Advisor


Helen Morrogh Bernard is Project Director and Orangutan Behaviour Research Director at the Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project. Helen began her research in the Sabangau Forest in July 1995 with the University of Nottingham KALTROP research team, returning in 1996 to complete her undergraduate zoology dissertation mapping orangutan density at the CIMTROP research site in the northern Sabangau Ecosystem. Helen then completed a Masters degree in Conservation Biology at Manchester Metropolitan University, studying black rhinoceros behaviour in Sweetwaters Reserve in Kenya, before returning to Sabangau in 1999. A six month sojourn to Negros Island in the Philippines followed, working as a research manager for Coral Cay Conservation, before establishing the orangutan behaviour research project in the Sabangau in 2003. With a small and dedicated research team, Helen habituated 25 individuals and started collecting data on orangutan activity, ranging, social and feeding behaviour, identifying how orangutans were surviving in and utilising a logged forest. Helen now collaborates with a wide-range of scientists and research projects, comparing orangutan behaviour between geographical locations, habitats and islands, helping to build up a complete picture of the ecology of this cryptic ape. Helen is completing her PhD at the Wildlife Research Group, University of Cambridge and continues to oversee the behaviour research in the Sabangau with personal research interests focusing on male-male interactions and the unique cultural traits of the Sabangau orangutan population.