Global Partner: Borneo
... ever since he was a child growing up in Belgium, Ben was always fascinated by wild animals. His dream was to become “Daktari”, the leading character of a popular TV series, a wildlife veterinarian living in Kenya. However, as time went by, Ben realized he didn’t want to just treat animals, his wish was to study, conserve, and protect them. He obtained his Ph.D. in ecology from the University of Grenoble in 1998. Benoît’s career path lead him to become the director of the Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC) in 2007 at the same time he finished his post-doctoral work on Bornean elephant population genetics. During this time, he went to visit Dr. Marc Ancrenaz and Dr. Isabelle Lackman, co-managers of the Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Project in Sabah, Malaysia (who are also Earth Expeditions Borneo course partners with Benoît). Benoît used his skills in conservation genetics to make his dream come true: working with wildlife in situ and creating conservation measures based on field research. As DGFC’s director, Ben is in charge of deciding and developing the research on how wildlife survives in the Kinabatangan landscape. Ben believes part of DGFC’s uniqueness is having a permanent team in the field, a team that works as a research group involved in science and using the results toward the conservation of the place.