John Abernethy

PhD Student

James Parsons Building, Byrom Street, Liverpool, L3 3AF

John Abernethy carrying out fieldwork in North Sumatra

Thesis:    The Influence of Forest Structure on Sumatran Orangutan Nesting and Densities in the Lowland Dipterocarp forests of North Sumatra

Research Interests

My research focused on investigating the influence of forest structure on Sumatran orangutan nest ecology, densities and distributions. Understanding how forest structure influences orangutan densities and distributions can help us plan how they will cope through changes from deforestation, selective logging and how they adapt in reforested areas. My particular interest is in understanding what structural properties of trees orangutans prefer for nest sites and how different tree structures influence the nest type used and where in the tree they build it. As orangutans spend a significant portion of their lives within these nests and build new ones daily, it is valuable to understand the processes behind their construction to better inform conservation strategies. I am also interested in the effects of habitat change and human influence on wider forest communities and have conducted a camera trapping project in North Sumatra aimed at determining some of those effects.




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