Peter Roberts

Peter Roberts

Details

Email: 12084954@brookes.ac.uk

Thesis title: The Asian palm civet: Fundamental baseline findings in ecology, captive husbandry and effects of trade in Kopi Luwak

Start year: 2013

Supervisors

Research topic

Little work has been conducted on the behavioural ecology of the Asian Palm Civet in Indonesia. The animal has been exploited for a number of years to produce premium coffee variety called Kopi Luwak yet the animals’ welfare is largely ignored. My project will investigate the ecology of the mesocarnivores across Java principally focusing on the Asian Palm Civet. During this project it is anticipated that the project will link with multiple parties and universities in several countries and allow students and other researchers to become involved. It is believed that this project has significant benefits in networking and encouraging mesocarnivore research across Indonesia.

My main study area is in Java, Indonesia; where there are several mammalian carnivore species belonging to the Felidae (Leopard Panthera pardus, Leopard Cat Felis bengalensis), Viverridae (Asian Palm Civet Paradoxurus hermaphroditus, Binturong Arctictis binturong, Javan Mongoose Herpestes javanicus, Malay Civet Viverra tangalunga, Small Indian Civet Viverricula indica, Small Toothed Palm Civet Arctogalidia trivirgata) and Mustelidae (Ferret Badger Melogale orientalis, Indonesian Mountain Weasel Mustela lutreolina, Asian Small-clawed Otter Aonyx cinerea and Smooth-coated Otter Lutrogale perspicillata). Whilst sighting and anecdotal evidence has been recorded (Brinkle, 2007; Eaton, Wést, Wirth, Shepherd, Semiadi, Hall & Duckworth, 2010; Moore, 2011), little else is known about the ecology, populations and interactions of species on the Island especially in the mesocarnivore guild.

By the end of the five year PhD project research will have:

  • Identified the mesocarnivores present in Java and habitat preferences and avoidances of them.
  • Estimated populations of each species in localised areas and them extrapolate to national levels.
  • Tracked individuals to determine the continuity of populations and territoriality of individuals.
  • Examined the scent marking constituents using GC-MS and linked chemistry to the behaviour of Asian Palm Civet.
  • Identified areas where the animals may require protection; e.g. from the pet trade, habitat fragmentation, urbanisation or agriculture.
  • Investigated and recommended improvements to the husbandry of civets in captivity.
  • To lobby for the regulation / removal of Kopi Luwak from retail and catered premises around the world.

Keywords

Asian Palm Civet; Kopi Luwak; Animal Welfare; Behavioural Ecology; Civet Coffee; Indonesia

General research interests

Asian Palm Civet; Kopi Luwak; Animal Welfare; Behavioural Ecology; Civet Coffee; Indonesia

Work in progress

  • SPAAN, D., RODE-MARGONO, E.J., ROBERTS, P.D., WIRDATETI, NIJMAN, V., & NEKARIS, K.A.I. (in prep) Trade in Common Palm Civets Paradoxurus hermaphroditus in Javan and Balinese markets, Small Carnivore Conservation
  • ROBERTS, P.D., NIJMAN, V., & NEKARIS, K.A.I. (in prep) Welfare and Husbandry of Asian Palm Civets in Exotic Pet Ownership, Animal Welfare

During 2015, I will be collecting data concerning scent composition of Asian Palm Civets and analysing samples through collaboration with Cardiff University. I will be seeking funding to purchase GPS collars to fit to animals in Java, Indonesia.

Teaching experience

I have 5 years of teaching experience in animal care. I am currently employed as a lecturer and course leader in animal care at Newbury College in Berkshire.

Publications

Conference papers

  • ROBERTS, P.D., NIJMAN, V., & NEKARIS, K.A.I. (in prep) Welfare and Husbandry of Asian Palm Civets in Exotic Pet Ownership, Animal Welfare
  • SPAAN, D., RODE-MARGONO, E.J., ROBERTS, P.D., WIRDATETI, NIJMAN, V., & NEKARIS, K.A.I. (in prep) Trade in Common Palm Civets Paradoxurus hermaphroditus in Javan and Balinese markets, Small Carnivore Conservation
  • RODE-MARGONO, E.J., VOSKAMP, A., SPAAN, D., LEHTINEN, J.K., ROBERTS, P.D., NIJMAN, V. & NEKARIS K.A.I (2014) Records of small carnivores and of medium-sized nocturnal mammals on Java, Indonesia, Small Carnivore Conservation 50:1-11.
  • ROBERTS, P.D., SOMERS, M.J., WHITE, R.M. & NEL, J.A.J. (2007) Diet of the South African large-spotted genet Genetta tigrina (Carnivora, Viverridae) in a coastal dune forest, Acta Theriologica 52(1):45-53.
  • ROBERTS, P.D. (2006) Aspects of the Behavioural Ecology of Genetta tigrina. School of Biological Sciences, Walter Sisulu University (M.Sc Thesis), Republic of South Africa.

Academic and professional training

  • January 2013–Present – MPhil/PhD Candidate in Anthropology and Geography, Oxford Brookes University
    Researching the ecology of the Asian Palm Civet Paradoxurus hermaphroditus in Java and Bali, Indonesia investigating interspecific interactions, human/wildlife conflict, diet and captive husbandry within production of Civet Coffee; Kopi Luwak.
  • January 2011–December 2011 – Certificate in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (Pass), Warwickshire College
    Studying methods and practices of coaching and mentoring, teaching and learning along with assessment.
  • September 2009–September 2009 – Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (Pass), Abingdon and Witney College
    Preparation and teaching methods for promoting the learning of students.
  • September 2003–January 2006 – Degree of Master of Science in Zoology (Pass (59%)), Walter Sisulu University
    Researching the Behavioural Ecology of the Large Spotted Genet Genetta tigrina in South Africa.
  • September 1998–July 2001 – Degree of Bachelor of Science with Honours in Zoology (2ii), University of Leeds
    Studying such subjects as: Anatomy & Physiology, Behaviour, Conservation, Ecology, Evolution & Domestication of the dog (Dissertation).
  • September 1994–July 1998 – BTEC National Diploma in Animal Care (Pass), BTEC First Diploma in Animal Care (Merit), Broomfield College
    Studying such subjects as: Animal Behaviour, Handling, Sexing and Restraint, Husbandry, Veterinary Nursing, Wildlife Rehabilitation.