Team Profiles

Hello! Here are the current OVAG committee members:

Dr Steve Unwin

Steve graduated in 1993 with a science degree majoring in physiology and ecology and in 1998 with a veterinary science degree, both from Massey University in New Zealand. Between 1997 and 2003 he worked in several zoos, wildlife rehabilitation centres and conservation projects in Australia, Thailand and Cameroon. Since 2003 he has been part of Chester Zoo Animal Health team as a veterinary officer. In May 2018 he left this position to pursue a PhD and work as a wildlife health consultant. He is a recognised specialist in Zoo Health Management as a Diplomate of the European College of Zoological Medicine. He was the veterinary coordinator for the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA) veterinary programme and co-founded OVAG with Dr Raffaella Commitante. He is currently co-facilitator for OVAG along with the rest of the OVAG committee. Both PASA and OVAG focus on and promote capacity building for wildlife veterinarians in the primate range countries.

Dr. drh. Soedarmanto Indarjulianto

Dr. drh. Soedarmanto Indarjulianto is a lecturer at the Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) Yogyakarta. During his academic career, his interest in wildlife conservation and medicine started in 1995 when he participated in a research project on identification of Staphylococcus zooepidemicus that killed wild monkeys and boars in Bali. Since 1999 drh. Indar has been giving lectures and conducting various research projects with his students, focusing in wildlife and exotic pet medicine. He is also appointed as the Supervising Lecturer for the Students Group focusing on wildlife (Unit Kegiatan Mahasiswa Kelompok Studi Satwa Liar/ KSSL), the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, UGM.

In 2012 drh. Indar was promoted as the Vice Dean for External Collaboration, where his task was to develop collaborations between his faculty and various conservation organizations. One of the monumental activities that he had done was initiating the signage of an MoU between the Faculty and Orangutan Conservancy and Chester Zoo (two sponspors for OVAG workshops) in 2014. Since then the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine UGM became the official home base for OVAG, emphasizing the faculty’s commitment of support for wildlife and orangutan conservation in Indonesia.

Drh. Indar keeps his active role within OVAG as well as actively supports capacity building for vets and students with interest in wildlife. In 2017, through the collaboration with OVAG, he initiated a Summer Course on wildlife medicine at the faculty; a short course with some credit point value for both students and vets in Indonesia.

In 2018 drh. Indar was asked to join the OVAG committee to complete the academia formation in this committee.

drh Yenny Saraswati

Drh. Yenny Saraswati graduated from the veterinary faculty, Bogor Agricultural Institute in 2007. She has always been deeply interested in the world of wildlife, as shown from many activities that she participated while in college. In 2005 she became one of the translocation teams for a Sumatran Rhinoceros named "Rosa" from Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park to Way Kambas-Lampung National Park.

After graduated from veterinary faculty, she joined as Veterinarian assistant for collecting and preparing Avian Influenza sample from shore birds under the Global Avian Influenza Network for Surveillance-Wildlife Conservation Society (GAINS-WCS) project until March 2008. On April 2008, she started the position as a veterinarian at the Sumatran Orangutan Quarantine Centre – YEL SOCP. Currently she is a Senior Vet, being responsible for the care of all rescued orangutans (more than 50 orangutans). She utilizes her veterinary expertise in the care of sick rescued orangutans and ensuring the health of rehabilitated orangutans. She is also in charge of managing the health of rehabilitated Orangutans at Jantho Reintroduction station, Aceh Besar.

To maximize her knowledge and motivation, since 2009 she participated in the Orangutan Veterinary Advisory Group (OVAG), a  group of frontline orangutan veterinarians from all over the world,sharing their experiences and expertise in dealing with Orangutan health and rescue. Drh. Yenny currently serves as one of the group Committee.

Dr Nancy Lung

Dr. Nancy Lung graduated from veterinary school in 1988.  After working for two years in a small animal practice she completed a Master's degree in avian immunology in 1993 and a 3-year residency in zoo and wildlife medicine in 1994.  From 1994-2016 she served as the Director of Veterinary Services for the Fort Worth Zoo in Fort Worth, TX, USA.  Currently she serves as the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine.  Dr. Lung's  expertise is in  orangutan conservation medicine, She is the co-Veterinary Advisor for the Orangutan Species Survival Plan.  She co-wrote the medical chapters for the AZA Orangutan Care Manual and for the Orangutan Care Manual for Chinese Zoos.  She teaches annually at the OVAG workshops since 2015 and conducts clinical investigations into the management of chronic respiratory disease in orangutans at the BOSF rescue centers.

drh. Ricko Laino Jaya

Drh. Ricko Jaya graduated from the Veterinary Faculty of Syiah Kuala University in 2010. During his time in university, he has assisted on numerous occasions in the operations of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP), which involves giving veterinary care for confiscated ex-pet orangutans, translocating wild orangutans, and reintroducing orangutan back to the wild after going through a rehabilitation process.

Ricko had attended a few training courses since 2010 in multidiscipline conservation aspects. In 2012, he joined the Orangutan Information Center (OIC) as a Veterinarian and Program Coordinator for Human and Orangutan Conflict Response Unit (HOCRU) program YOSL OIC who managed and led a specialist unit that works to address human-orangutan conflict problems across northern Sumatra. He is a dedicated conservationist, and is one of the founders of Cicem Nanggroe a local bird enthusiast NGO based in Aceh Province, Indonesia.

He was honoured with several scholarships and awards in conservation continuing education such as the Durrel Conservation Award (DCA), World Wildlife Fund’s Education For Nature Program (EFN), full scholarship to attend DESMAN course at the Durrel Conservation Academy in Jersery,UK, and a full scholarship to do an intern at University of Zurich from PanEco Foundation and the Veterinary Faculty of Syiah Kuala University, Indonesia.

Currently Ricko is doing a master degree at Kent University, UK. He has been part of the OVAG committee since 2013.

Dr Sumita Sugnaseelan

Dr. Sumita Sugnaseelan obtained her undergraduate degree in Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) in 2000. She was conferred Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Animal Welfare from the University of Cambridge, UK in 2006. Her field of specialisation are Ethology and Animal Welfare, and Stress Physiology. She is currently attached to the Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture UPM as an academic member of staff, and is also a Research Associate at the Centre of Excellence of Wildlife Research and Conservation UPM. Her research interests are behavioural and physiological approaches to assessing welfare, cognition and sensory perception in both wild as well as domestic animals.

Dr Raffaella Commitante

Raffaella Commitante, co-founder of OVAG along with Steve Unwin of Chester Zoo, is currently in her 10th year as a lecturer at California State University, Fullerton in Evolutionary Anthropology.  She received her PhD from the University Of Cambridge, England. She is president of the Orangutan Conservancy, a U.S. based non profit ( and the Southern California Primate Research Forum, a yearly forum for primate researchers held in Southern Calofornia.  Dr. Commitante has spent 17 years working and traveling back and forth to Indonesian and Malaysia assisting in orangutan conservation and research. She is the lead author (co-edited by the OVAG Committee) of all the OVAG Workshop Proceedings Reports.

Dr Pakee

A passionate wildlife veterinarian of the Wildlife Rescue Unit under the Sabah Wildlife Department, Pakee is currently based at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. While providing veterinary assistance towards the orangutans  and other wildlife in the centre, his work also focusses on rescue and translocating wild orangutans and other wildlife embroiled in never ending human-wildlife conflicts.

Dr Citrakasih Nente

Dr Citrakasih Nente (Citra) joined orangutan conservation program, with BOS Foundation in East Kalimantan, right after she graduated from Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Gadjah Mada University, Jogjakarta in 1998.  Besides part of Vet Team, Citra had been gone through several roles during her time in BOS Foundation such as Vet Coordinator, Wild Animal Manangement Coordinator, Field Executor on several releases, and Manager of BOS Wildlife in East Kalimantan, directly under Director Executive. In 2009 Citra resigned from BOS Foundation for pursuing her study in Conservation Medicine, Murdoch University with a scholarship from Australian Government. 

From 2014-2017 she worked in several NGOs focusing on orangutan and habitat conservation in Indonesia with various roles and expertise. Currenlty she is affiliated to the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program (SOCP) as Supervisor for Quarantine and Rehabilitation in Batu Mbelin, North Sumatera and Reintroduction and Release Site in Jantho, Aceh. 

Citra joined OVAG since it was established in 2009 and in 2015 she was invited to be one of the Committee. Along with other Committee member she designed continuing capacity building program either in OVAG yearly workshop or in collaboration with universities or other institutions.

Drh Fransiska Sulistyo

Fransiska Sulistyo, D.V.M., MVS(ConMed) graduated from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia in 2007, and has a Master Degree in Conservation Medicine from Murdoch University, Australia. Her field experience was mostly from being a veterinarian and later as the Animal Welfare Coordinator at the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF), an Indonesian NGO that runs one of the biggest great apes rescue, rehabilitation, and reintroduction programs in the world. Currently, Siska is doing independent consultation and advisory roles in several orangutan rescue & rehabilitation centers in Indonesia, as well as involved in research projects in the field of veterinary and behavior of orangutans.

Siska joined OVAG at the very beginning in 2009. Currently, she is affiliated to OVAG as the South East Asia Representative, as well as being a member of the Steering Committee. Together with the rest of the committee, she designs and organizes the workshops and training programs for vets in orangutan rescue centers in Indonesia and Malaysia.