Dr Nancy Priston graduated in 2001 from Cambridge University with a BA in Biological Anthropology. While doing her undergraduate degree she spent her summers in Sulawesi, Indonesia, studying the interaction between the un-studied Buton macaque and local farmers.

In 2001 she began her PhD with Dr Phyllis Lee at Cambridge. Her PhD, “Crop-raiding by Macaca ochreata brunnescens in Sulawesi: Reality, perceptions and outcomes for conservation” continued her work in Indonesia. While conducting her research she also worked with the conservation organisation, Operation Wallacea, running the macaque research at the field site and assisting with the logistics of the operation. She has also run a local education program for schools in the study site for the past 3 years.


During her time at Cambridge she lectured, taught practicals, ran small group tutorials and supervised undergraduate dissertations and guest lectured at Oxford Brookes on various topics in Biological Anthropology. She has also acted as field supervisor for a large number of undergraduate and MSc students out in Indonesia since 2001.


On completion of her PhD in 2005 Nancy returned to the field with Operation Wallacea and set up an NGO with local people in Indonesia to continue her work and allow them to apply for funding to run local development projects. Her research has a predominantly interdisciplinary approach, incorporating the wildlife’s and local people’s perspectives. She is now continuing her research on human-wildlife conflict to develop spatial models of crop-raiding, and investigate issues of risk perception, conflict development and coping strategies.


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© Nancy Priston