Dr Susan Cheyne

BSc (Hons), PhD

Senior Lecturer in Biological Anthropology and Primate Conservation

School of Law and Social Sciences

Susan Cheyne


I am a co-director of the Borneo Nature Foundation International (www.borneonaturefoundation.org) and BRINCC (Borneo River Initiative for Nature Conservation and Communities (www.brinccborneo.org). I am a Senior Lecturer on the MSc in Primate Conservation and in Biological Anthropology.

I have carried out research in South East Asia since 1997 and Indonesia since 2002. I am leading a long-term study of gibbon behaviour, ecology and socio-ecology in peat-swamp forests as well as conducting a detailed study of gibbon population density and distribution across Indonesian Borneo (Hylobates albibarbis, H. muelleri and H. funereus). I initiated the first long-term, detailed study of felid and large mammal biodiversity and conservation in the area, and across Indonesian Borneo with a focus on the Sunda clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi).

I am overseeing the continuation of the first long-term study of red langurs (Presbytis rubicunda) in peat-swamp forest. I work with several IUCN Specialist groups advising on and leading conservation policy and I am the Vice Chair of the IUCN Section on Small Apes http://www.gibbons.asia/. I have also carried out surveys on flying fox hunting and abundance, and is interested in how anthropogenic factors affect biodiversity in peat-swamp forests.

Teaching and supervision


Modules taught

I am module leader for the following courses:

  • Becoming and Independent Researcher (ANTH5017)
  • Apes in the Anthropocene Independent Study (ANTH7014)
  • Captive Management and Rehabilitation (ANTH7005)


I supervise MSc, MRes and PhD students.

Research Students

Name Thesis title Completed
Precious Bayliss Captive Conservation: Factors influencing public perceptions and attitudes toward primate conservation, does “the tragedy of becoming common” apply to zoo settings? Active
Emma Hankinson Megafauna Extinction on our watch: Conserving Sumatra’s last remaining elephant populations and their tropical forests Active


I am interested in captive management of primates and other mammals including felids, especially in rescue centres in situ and contribute to ongoing research into the best approach to rehabilitation, reintroduction and translocation of apes.

Research impact

I regularly contribute to international conferences and workshops for conservation actions and action planning at national and international level. I lead workshops for early career conservationists to learn about publishing, facilitate development of technical and practitioner best practice guidelines and to international policy.

Centres and institutes



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Professional information

Memberships of professional bodies

I am a member of the Primate Society of Great Britain, the International Primatological Society, the IUCN Primate Specialist Group, the IUCN Cat Specialist Group as well as being a Fellow of the Zoological Society of London, the Linnean Society and the Royal Geographical Society.


  • Primate Society of Great Britain 2022. Conservation Education for Primates and Panel on Covid-19 Impacts. Twycross Zoo, 6- 7th December 2022 https://www.psgb.org/pages/14-meetings
  • 8th Asian Primate Symposium 2022. Saving the Small Apes: challenges and opportunities. Hanoi, Vietnam 13-16th November 2022 https://www.three-monkeys.org/8th-asian-primate-symposium-2022b
  • 3rd Gibbon Husbandry Meeting – Workshop Organiser. Hanoi, Vietnam 17-19th November 2022 https://www.three-monkeys.org/3rd-international-gibbon-conference/
  • Primate Society of Great Britain 2021. Mental Health for Primatologists Workshop. 7th December 2021 https://www.psgb.org/pages/14-meetings
  • French Primatological Society 2021: Gibbon Songs and Conservation Outreach. St Etienne, 19022nd October 2021. http://sfdp-primatologie.fr/uploads/images/Colloque%202021/Livret_SFDP2021_final.pdf
  • International Hands-On Short Course On Javan Wildlife Diversity and Ecology, Indonesian Primate Society. Training for Gibbon Triangulation and Population Surveys and Monitoring. 8th December 2021 Online.


IUCN Species Survival Commission Primate Specialist Group Section on Small Apes