Meaghan first arrived in the Kinabatangan in 2012 as an undergraduate student volunteer for DGFC. At the time, Meaghan was double-majoring in Honors Zoology and Environmental Science at Miami University, and as it was her final summer holiday, she was eager to test her mettle in the forests of Borneo. Meaghan spent two months identifying and monitoring the resident clouded leopards and other wildlife in the LKWS using DGFC’s camera traps. At the end of her stay, Meaghan and Benoît sat and discussed her experience, during which Meaghan surreptitiously wracked his brains for hints of any professors willing to take on a young American student for a PhD. In response, Benoît shrugged, asked if she had enjoyed her time in the Kinabatangan, and wondered if she would be willing to swap the comforts of the Midwest for the jungles of Sabah. A giddily incredulous handshake later, Meaghan has been with DGFC working on carnivore conservation research ever since.
According to her parents, all Meaghan has ever wanted to do from the age of 2 is work with animals. When any well-meaning relative or friend would ask the pugnacious toddler which she was going to be once she grew up—a vet or a zookeeper—she would promptly and curtly expand their horizons regarding career opportunities in the biological sciences. Thankfully, Meaghan’s parents took all that passion in stride, supplying the ravenous bookworm with tales from Diane Fossey, Rachel Carson, the Kratt brothers, Jane Goodall, Aldo Leopold, and so many more. Having spent her childhood moving every few years, Meaghan picked up a chronic case of wanderlust. In order to fund her trips, she worked as the Senior Environmental Educator at the Kellogg Biological Station and as a Program Research Assistant at Project Dragonfly. Perhaps one of the most influential expeditions for Meaghan was spent in Namibia at Dr. Laurie Marker’s Cheetah Conservation Fund, as from then on, Meaghan’s already concrete dedication to mammalian research was set ablaze. While studying at Miami University, Meaghan was inspired by Dr. Hays Cummins to create and preside over an organization, named the Miami University Conservation Team, to gather together like-minded budding wildlife biologists. She also worked closely with Dr. Nancy Solomon studying the behaviour of monogamous prairie voles, and Nancy’s invaluable mentorship embroiled Meaghan in the rigors of scientific research. Meaghan has always had an affinity for the weird and wonderful, and so it was only natural that during her life-changing trip to DGFC, she became captivated by the largely unknown and significantly understudied small carnivore guild.
Meaghan’s principle research interests lie in the field of applied conservation ecology, specifically in examining mammalian responses to anthropogenic landscape fragmentation. Through her PhD at Cardiff University, she is investigating the impacts of large-scale agriculture on the spatial ecology and ecotoxicology of virtually unknown small carnivore species. With DGFC’s close relationship with the Sabah Wildlife Department, the results from Meaghan’s research will be directly translated into tangible conservation actions, such as the creation of a State Action Plan for small carnivores and the development of agricultural pollution mitigation strategies. In addition to her work with civets, she is also heavily involved in supervising students, both undergraduates and Masters, on various carnivorous projects. Lastly, as the Assistant Scientific Officer at DGFC, Meaghan has the responsibility of organizing the multitude of incredible Centre projects exploring the relationships between biodiversity, landuse, and conservation.
Honors BSc Zoology and Environmental Science, French, Miami University (2012)
List of other affiliations:
- Member of IUCN/SCC Otter Specialist Group (2013): Bornean Coordinator (2015)
- Member of IUCN/SCC Small Carnivore Specialist Group (2015)
Vickers, S. H.; Evans, M. N.; Abu Bakar, M. S.; Goossens, B. 2017. The first recorded activity pattern for the sunda stink-badger Mydaus javanensis (Mammalia: Carnivora: Mephitidae) using camera traps. Raffles Bull. Zool. 2017, 65, 316–324.
Nájera, F.; Hearn, A. J.; Ross, J.; Ramírez Saldivar, D. A.; Evans, M. N.; Guerrero-Sánchez, S.; Nathan, S. K. S. S.; De Gaspar Simón, I.; Macdonald, D. W.; Goossens, B.; Revuelta Rueda, L. 2017. Chemical immobilization of free-ranging and captive Sunda clouded leopards (Neofelis diardi) with two anesthetic protocols: medetomidine-ketamine and tiletamine-zolazepam. J. Vet. Med. Sci., 79, 1892–1898.
Evans, M.H., Edwards, S., Goossens, B. 2016. Small carnivores of the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, Sabah, Malaysia, including a new locality for the Otter Civet Cynogale bennettii. Small Carnivore Conservation, 54: 26-38.
Evans, M.N., Guerrero-Sanchez, S., Bakar, M.S.A., Kille, P., Goossens, B. 2016. First known satellite collaring of a viverrid species: preliminary performance and implications of GPS tracking Malay civets (Viverra tangalunga). Ecological Research, 31(3): 475-481
Miller, J., et al. (as M.N. Evans). 2014. Dispatch from the field: ecology of ground-web-building spiders with description of new species (Araneae, Symphytognathidae). Biodiversity Data Journal, 2: e1076.
Harris, M.N., Alvarez, R., Keane, B., Talib, A.D., Eiswerth, M. J., & Solomon, N.G. 2014. The role of avpr1a microsatellite length on reproductive success of female Microtus ochrogaster. Behaviour, 151(8), 1185-1207.