Miriam N. Kunde

Miriam N. Kunde
Scientific Field Officer & Carnivore Conservation Officer
 

Dr Miriam Kunde has been working with animals as long as she can remember. She developed a keen interest in animal behaviour and husbandry and trained as a zoo keeper and worked as a primate keeper for Stichting Aap in the Netherlands. In 2008 she decided to enrol in a BSc (Hons) in Animal Conservation Science at Cumbria University. After she graduated, she worked as an orangutan and sun bear release coordinator in Indonesia, soon realising that too little research has been carried out on sun bears to be able to prepare them for release. She therefore decided to pursue a PhD in the ex-situ and in-situ conservation approach for the Malayan sun bear and graduated from Griffith University (Australia) in February 2018. Her PhD research has covered a variety of different research disciplines (including phylogeography, population genetics, forensic genetics for the detection of animal derivate in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), as well as reintroduction biology and species management). Next to her academic career, Miriam has gained extensive fieldwork experience. She has worked on projects in Australia (working for the Wildlife Warrior Hospital and Australia Zoo), New Zealand (assisted a study on hunting behaviour in dolphins and working with the Department of conservation on the re-location of a threatened shearwater bird colony), India (butterfly surveys), West Africa (establishing conservation and research projects on crocodiles, vultures, turtles, colobus monkeys, dolphins and otters), South Africa (working as a cheetah cub-rearer for Cheetah outreach), Germany (assisted the Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research with a study on the use of resting-sites for wild red deer and on a research project to back-breed domestic horse breeds to Przewalski-like horses), Greece (butterfly surveys), Cambodia (collecting samples for her PhD research on sun bears), and in Malaysia (working with sun bears at the BSBCC).
On top of her scientific degrees, Miriam holds a Masters in Wildlife Documentary Production (Salford University, UK) and is passionate about using media to promote conservation. She is a member of the IUCN CEC and a sun bear officer for S.P.E.C.I.E.S. Miriam has recently started a post-doctoral position at the Danau Girang Field Centre where she will be studying the impact of habitat fragmentation on the ecology and health of sun bears , and will assist a study on the migratory behaviour of the bearded pig  and research on flat-headed cats, leopard cats, and clouded leopards.