Who We Are

Orangutan Land Trust is a registered charity in England and Wales (number 1131878).

As a land trust we focus on supporting the preservation, restoration and protection of land masses in the areas where orangutans naturally exist or have existed in the past. The main aim of this trust is to ensure that there are safe forest areas set aside for orangutans and other species which accompany them within their habitat to form a healthy ecosystem.

When you support OLT, we are able to use the funds to investigate land to ensure that it is suitable to use for orangutans as well as secure and protect the land to ensure that it remains a safe and flourishing habitat in an effort to keep wild orangutans from extinction.

The Team

Lone Droscher-Nielsen, President and Patron

Lone Droscher-Nielsen is known internationally as a champion for orangutans, and as one of the foremost experts in the rescue, care, rehabilitation and release of these orangutans. She is the founder and manager of the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Reintrduction Project in Central Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) operated by the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation.

Michelle Desilets, Executive Director

Michelle Desilets has been working alongside Lone Droscher Nielsen in orangutan conservation for over 15 years. In 1994, Michelle took her first trip to Borneo, as a volunteer-tourist at the Tanjung Puting National Park. In the years that followed, she continued to visit Borneo as a volunteer for as long as 4 months at a time.

Dr David Chivers, Trustee

Dr David Chivers, MA, PhD, ScD, FLS, FZS, FRGS, was born in April 1944, and from Merchant Taylors’ School, Northwood, he came up to Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, in 1963, to read veterinary medicine. Reading Physical Anthropology in his third year, showed him that he could combine his boyhood interest in natural history with a growing interest in our relatives, so he registered for a Ph.D. and went off to the Malay Peninsula for two years to study the ecology and behaviour of the siamang.

Claire McLardy, Trustee

Claire McLardy studied Zoology as an undergraduate and then went on to complete a Masters degree in Environmental Management at the University of Nottingham. She carried out research on orang-utan distribution and the effects of anthropogenic disturbance on the orangutan population of the Sebangau region of Central Kalimantan, Borneo.

Dr Simon Lord, Trustee

Dr Simon Lord is the Group Director for Sustainability for New Britain Palm Oil Ltd (NBPOL) the largest oil palm producer in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. He has 25 years experience in the oil palm industry and has worked in S.E. Asia and the pacific. He started his career in research and as Head of Research for Dami Oil Palm Research Station led multi disciplined teams in Agronomy, Precision Agriculture, Biotechnology, Breeding and Environmental Science.

Jessica McKelson, Trustee

Jessica McKelson is Founder Director of Raw Wildlife Encounters and Supervisor Primates at Melbourne Zoo, where she has worked since 2000. Jessica developed a deep passion for animal conservation during a confronting visit to Indonesia’s orang-utan habitats in 2003. “Seeing so many orphaned orang-utans and no forests for them to go to affected me on a deep emotional level. Ever since then, I have dedicated my life to being an ambassador for protecting orang-utans and their habitats”, says Jessica.

Andrea Permana, Trustee

This team member's team profile is currently being updated.

Adam Leather, Trustee

This team member's profile is currently being updated.

Simon Husson, Scientific Advisor

Simon Husson is the leader and director of the Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project (OuTrop). Simon’s research is focused in the Sabangau region, 20km from Palangkaraya, where he heads orang-utan distribution and habitat monitoring projects.

Dr Helen Murrogh-Bernard, Scientific Advisor

Helen Morrogh Bernard is Project Director and Orangutan Behaviour Research Director at the Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project. Helen began her research in the Sabangau Forest in July 1995 with the University of Nottingham KALTROP research team, returning in 1996 to complete her undergraduate zoology dissertation mapping orangutan density at the CIMTROP research site in the northern Sabangau Ecosystem.

Dr Marc Ancrenaz, Scientific Advisor

Dr Marc Ancrenaz is the Founder, Director and lead researcher for Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Project, and Co-Founder and Scientific Director of Project HUTAN.

Dr Ian Singleton, Scientific Advisor

Dr Ian Singleton is Director of Conservation at PanEco Foundation and Scientific Director for the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme. He was formerly Senior orangutan keeper at Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust and Animal keeper at Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and Zoological Society of London. He studied at the University of Kent (PhD, Ecology; orangutan ranging […]

Dr Erik Meijaard, Scientific Advisor

Dr Erik Meijaard has worked as a forest conservation scientist in Indonesia since 1992. He has broad research interests, ranging from mammal taxonomy and Asian biogeography to conservation economics, forest management, and spatial optimization studies.

Michaela Strachan, Patron

Michaela Strachan has long supported the work of Lone Droscher-Nielsen and BOS Nyaru Menteng since she first visited the project to film the BBC series Orangutan Diary.

Alasdair Davies, Website Developer

Before starting University, Alasdair importantly took a 1 month break to travel Europe. During his travels he realised that his desire to support conservation activities was ever important and his experience travelling pushed him towards mixing his graphic design work with conservation, using University as a means to exploring how digital media could be used to affect change.