Professor Serge Wich

Serge Wich
Job Title Professor in Primate Biology
Telephone +44 (0)151 231
Email Address


Contact Address Room
James Parsons Bldg
Byrom St.
L3 3AF
More details:

Research interests:

Prof. Serge Wich’s research interests are focused on primate behavioral ecology, tropical rain forest ecology and conservation of primates and their habitats. Research is strongly focused on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, but also on the island of Borneo. In the future I hope to extend the geographic spread of projects to mainland Asia and other continents. At present the key species I study with my collaborators are the Sumatran and Bornean orangutan. Another field of study that I focus on is primate communication and especially what the meaning and function of calls is, whether they are learned and what the geographic variation of calls is. This has the ultimate aim of informing theories on how human speech evolved. In addition, I am collaborating (with Prof. Lian Pin Koh) to develop and use unmanned aerial vehicles (Conservation Drones) for conservation and ecological research. This project has drones flying at several locations around the world (Africa, Asia, and Europe).


View Publications List

Grants Obtained:

Title, Awarding Body and Year Role Amount
Orangutan Nests Drone work, Margot Marsh, 2013 PI 8,750
Orangutan reintroduction GIS, Four Paws, 2013 PI 11,939
Can reforestation help orang-utan conservation? Chester Zoo, 2013 PI 2,901
Bornean orangutan and climate change, UNEP, 2013 PI 77,932


Research interests:

Professional Qualifications:

  • 1997 - 2002: PhD in Biology at Utrecht University. Received on October 14th 2002
  • 1988 - 1995: Master of Science in Biology at Utrecht University. Received on June 6th 1995
Current Post:
  • Professor in Primate Biology at LJMU
  • Honorary professor in Conservation of Great Apes, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Previous Posts:
  • Jan 2010-August 2012 Director of Research, Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (PanEco, Switzerland)
  • Jan 2010-August 2012 Researcher, University of Zurich, Anthropological Insitute
  • March 2009: Consultant scientist for the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program to conduct orangutan survey work in northern Aceh
  • Jan 2009-July 2009: Adjunct assistant professor at Drake University, USA
  • Dec 2007-Dec 2009: Assistant professor (affiliate) at Iowa State University, USA
  • July 2008-Dec 2009: Scientist at Great Ape Trust of Iowa
  • July 2006-July 2008: Visiting Scientist at Great Ape Trust of Iowa
  • Jan-July 2007: Adjunct assistant professor at Drake University, USA
  • 2007: Consultant scientist for Fauna and Flora International to conduct orangutan survey work in the northern part of Aceh
  • Oct. 1997- present: Managing the orangutan research programme at the Ketambe Research Station (North Sumatra, Indonesia). This involves managing a large research site with large numbers of students and research assistants.
  • July 2003-July 2005: Managing the Duke University (later University of Zürich) orangutan research at Tuanan, Central Kalimantan for Carel van Schaik. This entails managing a site that harbours up to 20 research students and assistants.
  • July 2003-July 2006 Post-Doctoral position at Utrecht University for comparing cultural behaviours in orangutans on Sumatra and Kalimantan
  • June-July 2003: Consultant scientist for PT. Hatfindo Prima to determine the impact of mining on an orangutan population in North Sumatra
  • Jan 2003-June 2003: Guest researcher at the Behavioural Biology Department of Utrecht University
  • Jan 2003-June 2003: Post-Doctoral research position at the Biological Anthropology and Anatomy Department of Duke University, USA with Dr. Carel van Schaik.
  • Dec 2002: Survey South of Lake Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia to evaluate orangutan conservation opportunities. Conducted for the Golden Ark Foundation.
  • Apr. 2002 – Dec 2002: Teaching position at the Behavioural Biology Department, Utrecht University. Tought in Zoology and Statistics courses.
  • Jul. 2000 - June 2001: Organising and conducting several island wide surveys to assess the density and distribution of Sumatran orangutans. Conducted for the Golden Ark Foundation.
Professional Memberships:
  • Member and Chair of the Great Ape Survival Partnership (GRASP) Scientific Commission (2007 - )
  • Member of the IUCN/SSC Section on Great Apes (2004 - )
  • Board of Advisors for the Pongo Foundation (2006 - )
  • Member of the IUCN/SSC Section of Great Apes Executive Committee (2013 - )
  • Member of the International Primatological education committee (2009 - )
  • Member of the Ape TAG Conservation subcommitee (2009 - )
  • Member of CBSG (2009 - )
  • Member of editorial board for Biological Conservation

Page last modified 08 September 2014.

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