Team Profile

Team Profile proHabitat


Erin R. Vogel
(Project Director; Rutgers University, U.S.A.;;

Dr. Vogel is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology and a member of the Graduate Faculty in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at Rutgers University. Vogel received her Ph.D. in 2004 in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Stony Brook University. She has been studying primate behavior and ecology since 1996 and has been studying orangutan behavior and ecology in Indonesia since 2004. Since 1998, she has published over 26 articles in peer-reviewed journals, 5 books chapters in edited volumes, and has received 17 grants from federal and non-federal funding sources. Since 2004, she has been collaborating with UNAS faculty Drs. Utami-Atmoko and Mitra-Setia on several research projects and they have received joint funding from both U.S. federal granting agencies and NGOs. Dr. Vogel’s current research involves questions that explore both the proximate and ultimate mechanisms of diet selection and energy acquisition in wild orangutans. She established a longterm research project in 2005 at the Tuanan Field Station in Central Kalimantan (TORP) focusing on orangutan dietary ecology and cognitive foraging decisions. This project combines field observations with laboratory techniques to examine the relationships between nutrition, gut physiology, food availability, and diet selection. Since 2004, Dr. Vogel has mentored eleven Indonesian students and ten foreign students at Tuanan. As PI, Dr. Vogel has ultimate responsibility for the administrative, fiscal, and scientific conduct of the research project. She will be responsible for communication among all key personnel and project participants, primary communication about the projects impacts, the performance of the award, the distribution of funds from Rutgers University to Indonesian collaborators and students, all external representation and coordination with USAID, and offering technical guidance and input to the institutional partners.

 Robert Scott

(Co-Principal Investigator; Rutgers University, U.S.A;

Dr. Robert Scott is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and a member of the Graduate Faculty of Ecology and Evolution at Rutgers University. He received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from The University of Texas at Austin in 2004. His research program and duties focus on investigations of diet in relation to ecology in human and primate evolution. He has published over 20 articles in peer-reviewed journals and three book chapters in edited volumes. He has been very successful in obtaining funding and has received 15 grants since 2000. Dr. Scott has conducted paleoecological fieldwork in Indonesia, China, Turkey, Hungary, and the United States (Montana). He is familiar with the research process in Indonesia and has basic knowledge and understanding of Bahasa Indonesia. He is the co-developer of a new repeatable method for quantifying primate and hominin dental microwear in three dimensions and has reviewed primate diets in this context. This method has provided new insights into the diet of South African early hominins suggesting the importance of fallback food exploitation and was published in the journal Nature. At Rutgers, Dr. Scott has been recognized for outstanding contributions to undergraduate education and teaches the Signature course “Extinction”, a critical part of the new School of Arts and Sciences core curriculum. This course focuses on climate change, extinction processes, and conservation. His expertise in these areas in addition to quantitative analyses (Dr. Scott is also responsible for teaching quantitative methods to majors) and ecosystem modeling will greatly contribute to the planned short course in Applied Ecology and Ecosystem Management.

 Jito Sugardjito

(Co-project director; Universitas Nasional, Indonesia;

Dr. Sugardjito is a Research Supervisor in large mammal ecology and the Director of the Office for International Cooperation at Universitas Nasional Jakarta. Before holding this position, he was a Senior Research Scientist at the Indonesian Institute for Sciences (LIPI). Dr. Sugardjito received his Ph.D. from the University of Utrecht in Behavioral Ecology in 1986. He has been studying primate behavior since 1974 extensively throughout Indonesia on a wide range of primate and other mammalian species. He has worked for several conservation NGOs and is considered a leading expert in the field of primate conservation and behavior in Indonesia. He has served as a member of the editorial board for the International Journal of Primatology and has published over 20 articles in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Sugardjito will be a lead developer of the “Applied Ecology and Ecosystem Management” short course and will also invite several Indonesian and foreign researchers to lecture during the course. His connections made during his time working with several NGOs are critical for the success of this course as he can invite several guest lecturers from these groups to expand the focus of the course.

 Sri Suci Utami Atmoko

(Key Personnel; Universitas Nasional Indonesia;

Dr. Utami Atmoko is a Lecturer in the Faculty of Biology at Universitas Nasional Jakarta (UNAS). She received her Ph.D. in 2000 in Socio-ecology from University of Utrecht. Dr. Utami Atmoko is primatologist who has spent more than 20 years conducting research on orangutan behavior and conservation. Her research is mainly conducted in Ketambe, Leuser National Park, Aceh, Sumatra, and more recently she has been a co-director of the Tuanan Orangutan Research Project in Central Kalimantan. Her current research focuses on the behavior, ecology, physiology and genetics of orangutans in Borneo and Sumatra. She has published over 35 peer reviewed articles and is considered a leading expert on orangutan behavior and conservation. In addition to her scientific research, Dr. Utami Atmoko has worked as a consultant and/or special advisor for a number of NGOs and government organizations including WWF, USAID, UNESCO, TNC, and BOSF. She supports her conservation efforts by integrating conservation principles with systematically collected field data, monitoring, and awareness training for local NGOs, local communities, local governments and university students, and lecturing in several conservation programs and universities both in Indonesia and abroad. Dr. Utami Atmoko has expertise in field-work, as a film advisor (BBC), monitoring and awareness training, adult and non-formal education, and also office management.

 Tatang Mitra-Setia

(Key Personnel; Universitas Nasional  Indonesia;

Mitra-Setia (M.A.) is a Lecturer in the Faculty of Biology at Universitas Nasional Jakarta (UNAS). From 2001-2011 he served as the Assistant Dean, Faculty of Biology, at UNAS. He completed his Master’s degree in 1995 in Biology from Utrecht University, The Netherlands and will finish his Ph.D. in 2013 from University of Indonesia in Ecology. He has been studying orangutans for over 20 years in both Sumatra and Borneo. In addition to teaching and advising students at UNAS, he has worked as a contract employee for several NGOs, advising on orangutan conservation issues. Mitra-Setia is a co-manager of the Tuanan Research Station and has been critical in the construction of the facility, mentoring of students, and facilitating foreign research at this station. He has been the liaison between UNAS and RISTEK (LIPI in the past) for obtaining all permission letters, permits, and visas for all foreign students and researchers since 2003. His research focuses on male social relationships in wild orangutans.



Wendy Erb

(Rutgers University, U.S.A;

Dr. Erb is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Anthropology at Rutgers University. Erb  recently completed her PhD in Anthropological Sciences at Stony Brook University. She has been studying primate behavior and ecology since 2003 and has been studying primate behavior and ecology in Indonesia since 2003. Since 2005, she has published 4 articles in peer-reviewed journals, and has received 12 grants from federal and non-federal funding sources. Wendy joined the project in January 2013, and began her orangutan research at Tuanan in May 2013. Dr. Erb’s research focuses broadly on the social and ecological behavior of wild primates. She is primarily interested in the strategies and signals of reproductive competition, and incorporates behavioral, ecological, and acoustic methods in her research. She is also very interested in biological conservation, and understanding the ways that human activities influence the behavior and ecology of wild primates. As Project Manager, Dr. Erb is assisting in promoting student collaborations and running the short courses. She is working both at Rutgers University and as the USAID project manager within Indonesia. She is responsible for training UNAS and Rutgers students in both laboratory and field techniques, while coordinating short courses, and project-related activities.

Achi Zulfa

(UNAS /proHabitat web Administrator Universitas Nasional , Indonesia;

Achi has been working at Tuanan since 2004 for research about orangutan food nutrition and orangutan food behaviour for her bachelor degree at UNAS. She also research about orangutan food nutrition at Ketambe Research Station, Aceh Tenggara on 2006-2008 in collaboration with DR. Erin R. Vogel and DR. Serge Wich for her Master Program at Universitas Indonesia. She comeback to Tuanan on 2011 for running the Environmental Education that initiated by DR. Erin R. Vogel at school near from Tuanan Research Station. She work for the program in collaboration of UNAS-Rutger-USAID to help the permit regulation and build the website.


Casandra Burrows
(Rutgers University , U.S.A.;

M.A.Inez Saptenno

(Project Coordinator Universitas Nasional , Indonesia; )

Saptenno is the Head Division of International Cooperation, Office of International Cooperation, Universitas Nasional. Saptenno manages and develops international cooperation between Universitas Nasional and its counterpart universities. Saptenno’s responsibilities include: 1) setting up funding accounts and administrating these funds at UNAS for USAID-related funds, 2) coordinating and overseeing the development of UNAS Biological Sciences webpage, 3) arranging for journal subscriptions funded through USAID proposal, 4) working together with Dr. Vogel and Dr. Scot to ensure proper management of funds sent to UNAS, 5) submitting a quarterly financial report to Project Director.

Team Profile proHABITAT  – 2013