Buffalo, NY – Canisius College alumna Abigail Robinson, of East Aurora, NY, is a recipient of a prestigious J. William Fulbright Scholarship. She will use her scholarship to study unknown wild cat populations in Malaysia. “My study will focus in the region of Borneo called Sarawak, where I will collect field data on population densities and frequencies of the five wild felids confined on this island oasis,” explains Robinson.
Additionally, Robinson’s research will focus on the displacement and impacts of deforestation on the 26 various indigenous and ethnic groups that reside in Sarawak. “I am eager to learn about the relationships that these civilizations have fostered with native wildlife and include them in my study. In order to understand wildlife, we need to listen to and hear from the people who have always lived alongside them.” Robsinson says that both wild felids and indigenous cultures in the region depend heavily on undisturbed, dense forest areas. Both are facing immense challenges in the wake of deforestation and forest degradation.
Robinson’s work will incorporate data mined from a study by her mentor, Jayasilian Mohd-Azlan, PhD, from the Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation at the University Malaysia Sarawak and the World Wildlife Fund. Her goal is to shed light and new information on the behaviors of some of the world’s most elusive creatures and the human populations associated with them.
Robinson graduate from Canisius College in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in animal behavior, ecology and conservation, and environmental studies.
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