Matriculated September 2008
Jennifer Prew’s doctoral research will examine whether orangutans (Pongo spp.) that undergo episodes of severe dietary or psychological stress during infancy (i.e., orangutans orphaned by poachers and sold in the illegal pet trade) follow discrepant developmental trajectories, and have altered stress levels and patterns of social and reproductive behaviors (i.e., age at sexual maturity, age at first reproduction, length of inter-birth intervals, and susceptibility to nutritional amenorrhea etc.) than their free-living or captive conspecifics. To assess the effect of early developmental stressors on the life histories of orangutans, Jennifer’s study will measure the urinary cortisol levels, dietary quality, and social and reproductive behaviors of free-living Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) at Gunung Palung National Park; orphaned, re-habilitated Bornean orangutans (P. pygmaeus); and captive orangutans (Pongo spp.) residing in the U.S.
Jennifer’s master’s thesis (from the University of Victoria, in British Columbia, Canada) focused on the effect that differing microhabitats have on the anti-predator behaviors of free-living Verreaux’s sifaka (Propithecus verreauxi verreauxi) residing at Berenty Reserve, Madagascar.
- Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) postgraduate doctoral scholarship (PGS-D)