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SOS Rhino : About SOS Rhino : People

Our People:


Our conservation initiatives are only as effective as our people. We are fortunate to have a select group of talented and committed members who's unified vision and determination is focused and intent on saving rhinos.

Dr. Nan Schaffer, President and Founder
When Dr. Schaffer began working with rhinos, she found that little reproductive information was available on the species. Since then, she has produced 45 publications, 41 scientific presentations, and 11 scientific videos on the subject. She has designed extensions for ultrasound probes, helped in designing chutes for rhinos, and worked with designing equipment for collection of semen from the male rhino. She was also one of the premiere researchers who worked to discover the layout of the male and female rhino reproductive anatomy. In 1991 she began working with the Malaysian government on the Sumatran rhino and has maintained a focus on this species. E-mail Dr.Nan.

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Dr. M.S. Thayaparan, Field Program Officer
Dr. Thaya originally joined our team in 2004 as an SOS Rhino sponsored masters student studying at the University of Malaysia Sabah.
Dr. Thaya attended University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka, where he specialized in animal medicine and surgery, focusing on captive and wild elephants. Dr. Thaya gained valuable experience in field research while working as a project assistant with Dr. A. Dangolla in translocation of wild elephants from villages to nature reserves.
After attending the 2nd Sumatran Rhino Conservation Workshop in Sabah, Dr. Thaya decided to focus his attention on the conservation of the Sumatran rhino of Borneo. Through a scholarship from SOS Rhino, Dr. Thaya attended the Universiti of Malaysia Sabah to obtain his masters degree in nutrition. Dr. Thaya’s study titled “Distribution and Nutritional status of Sumatran Rhinoceros in Sabah Malaysia”, focused on the rhino’s habitat and feeding ecology. Another important component of his research was to analyze the food plants and to identify the nutritional contents. Dr. Thaya is responsible for all aspects of SOS Rhino’s Sumatran rhino project in Borneo, including administration.

Cindy Salopek, Program Manager

Cindy joined SOS Rhino in 2001 as Projects Associate to spearhead administrative and education projects. She has worked over 10 years in conservation for notable organizations such as Lincoln Park Zoo, John G. Shedd Aquarium, and Sierra Club, Illinois Chapter.
Cindy is dedicated to conservation-focused organizations. As a further commitment to her conservation interests, Cindy will continue as a volunteer with Sierra Club to work on global population and other human rights issues relating to the environment. Cindy is responsible for our web site, volunteer program, education, marketing, and fundraising initiatives. E-mail Cindy



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