Jaima Smith

Education Officer, RZSS Edinburgh Zoo

About Jaima Smith

Hi there! I am an anthropologist & primatologist with a deep love and admiration for the natural world. I am passionate about primate conservation, specifically gibbons, and focused both my MA and PhD research on the elusive & enchanting Javan gibbon, and worked in collaboration with colleagues from the Javan Gibbon Center in West Java in order to achieve this. My research comprised elements of social anthropology (qualitative interviews with local people in West Java & social network research on the illegal wildlife trade) and conservation biology (population viability modelling & behavioural observations) and addressed a range of conservation issues relevant to the highly endangered Javan gibbon. I have participated in three releases of Javan gibbons back to the wild, including the very first one in 2009! I am a member of the IUCN Section on Small Apes and participate in two working groups with the Malaysian Primatological Society developing a national action plan for Malaysian gibbons. After my experience working in the education departments at both the Oregon Zoo and now currently Edinburgh Zoo, I have become quite passionate about conservation education and hope to inspire the younger generation to love the natural world as much as I do!

Which category below best describes the type of organisation you currently work for/or run?

Charity/Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO)

Areas of expertise

Research Education & training Partnerships and collaboration development Project/programme management

Would you be willing to be approached and share your lessons learned in your area(s) of expertise with our community?


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Recent Comments

Comment on Hello!
Sep 07, 2020
Replying to Beth Robinson

Welcome Jaima! Edinburgh is such a beautiful city. Wow, that book sounds very interesting, I'd love to read it when it is finished. Looking forward to chatting in the live sessions. 

Thanks, Beth! I'm really excited to be doing this training - so great it's offered online! And hopefully I won't keep you waiting too long to read my book ;-) 

Comment on Hello!
Sep 07, 2020
Replying to Jane Reeve

Hi Jaima, I am so excited to read your introduction as I was involved in an expedition to Java in 1992 to study the Javan Silvery Gibbon in Gunung Halimun National Park.  We were collecting data on distribution, ecology and resilience to human encroachment into the forest.  Amazing to hear about your work and research - fantastic as these are such special primates.

Hi Jane, that's amazing!! I can't wait to talk to you more about this! I wonder if you ever overlapped with my PhD advisor, Vincent Nijman, as he was also there in the early 90s doing survey work with Javan gibbons (and birds, too :-) ). I'd definitely love to hear more about your experience(s).