DR SHARMINI PARAMASIVAM
FOUNDER AND PROJECT LEAD
Sharmini Julita Paramasivam is a veterinarian and pursued a MSc in Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare from the University of Edinburgh with a scholarship from the Douglas Houghton Memorial Fund. Sharmini studied macaques and captive enrichment for rehabilitation as part of her MSc dissertation and found an immense appreciation for the species.
She then spent the next few years in Indonesia working as the head veterinarian of a primate rescue centre. Her work to rehabilitate rescued macaques from the pet trade drove her to get involved in understanding human monkey conflict. Following a report about macaques being culled in Malaysia, Sharmini felt strongly that more awareness needed to be raised and founded the Animal Neighbours Project. In 2015, Sharmini moved to the UK and began her career as an academic at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Surrey. She continues to manage the project from the UK with the support of student volunteers. Sharmini continues to go back to Malaysia yearly to conduct field work and develop more collaborations to increase the awareness about the macaque project.
Currently, she is pursuing a clinical specialist training in behaviour medicine with the European College of Animal Welfare and Behaviour Medicine. While her teaching job, ANP research and residency takes up a lot of her time, she still finds time to enjoy cocktails with friends and loves binge watching Netflix. She enjoys talking about animal behaviour and human animal conflict and wants to educate the young generation about living responsibly alongside wildlife.
LEAD OUTREACH AMBASSADOR
DR KAMALAN JEEVARATNAM
Dr. Kamalan Jeevaratnam is Head of Veterinary Preclinical Sciences at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Surrey. His research interest includes integrative physiology, novel therapeutic agent discoveries, human animal interface research as well as medical education.
His present work concerns the use integrative physiology techniques to elucidate mechanism of cardiac arrhythmia and developing risk stratification strategies for clinical practice. He additionally interested in One Health based research hence his involvement with work with the Animal Neighbours Porject.
Here he seeks to understand disease interrelationship between animals and humans living in close proximity. Dr. Jeevaratnam holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge, a MMedSc from International Medical University and the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from University Putra Malaysia, He was admitted to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, UK in 2011 by examination
Rose Byatt is helping to develop our outreach programme with Primary Schools. She became involved in Spring 2020, having had experience of Animal Neighbours as a teacher over several years during which Daniel Gillett made a variety of appearances at her school. These engaged not only the pupils, but also the attending adults. Having recently retired, after many years of school-teaching, Rose maintains her interest in education and in the impact of human behaviour upon the natural world. She is keen to apply her knowledge and experience to the development of teaching sessions and resources to further the aims of Animal Neighbours, whilst supporting schools in their delivery of the National Curriculum.
Rose also has extensive experience of mentoring student teachers and Newly Qualified Teachers; she intends to support Animal Neighbours volunteers as they develop the skills necessary to deliver engaging sessions in schools.
PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT OFFICER
Hendra Rijal joined Animal Neighbours in April 2019 as a Research Assistant for ANP’s research project in Malaysia. His team during that time were responsible for engaging local community members and creating action plans to reduce human monkey conflict in Malaysia.
During the duration of the project he has successfully conducted multiple Human-Monkey Conflict Mitigation in Urban Areas Community Workshops and strategic implementations in conflict areas. After the research project was completed, Hendra wished to continue to volunteer with ANP where he is now our Public Engagement Officer.
DR ERIN LIM
Dr Erin Lim’s main research interest lies in investigations related to fundamental understanding of mechanisms of synergy between natural products and antimicrobials for potential development in clinical settings. Specifically, she is heavily involved in the elucidation of mechanisms of reversal of resistance in bacteria. She hopes her work will support discovery of therapeutics in the clinical setting and assist in the combat against the burden of antibiotic resistance.
She is also interested in the analysis of carriage and transmission of multidrug resistant bacteria in non-conventional settings, besides investigating the immunological analyses of diseases, development of vaccination and treatment models in animals.
Her current ongoing collaborations are with the University of Surrey, UK, Monash University, Universiti Putra Malaysia and the International Medical University. She has successfully secured numerous ministerial- and national-level grants for research in her nine years as an academic. She serves as a reviewer for reputable journals in her field.
She is a believer of research-based teaching in expanding the student learning experience beyond classroom walls. She has supervised and successfully graduated postgraduate students in addition to more than sixty undergraduates, some of whom are international students on short-term attachments.
DR MOKRISH AJAT
Dr Mokrish Ajat is an alumni of Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Science (Honours) Biochemistry from the Faculty of Science. He holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, The Netherlands. Currently, he serves as a senior lecturer and researcher at the Department of Veterinary Preclinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, UPM.
He was trained in the field of molecular biology with a special interest in lipid biochemistry and lipidomics while he was pursuing his doctoral training. He is currently involved in multiple research groups within the faculty, UPM and other institutions ranging from cancer studies to zoonotic diseases. Apart from teaching undergraduate courses, he is also involved in teaching postgraduate courses. His work involvement does not restrict him to teaching and research activities only. He is very much involved in various administrative responsibilities in the faculty, university and ministries.
He is one of the committee members for UPM STEM that promotes STEM activities in schools and eDU-Park UPM. He is also involved in the strategic committee for Service Learning University Malaysia (SULAM) and STEM for the Ministry of Higher Education. In 2016, he was the first recipient from Malaysia to be awarded the prestigious UNESCO Man and Biosphere Young Scientists Award. He is the project leader for the “School Zoonotic Diseases Awareness Program”.