Signe’s impressive list of achievements goes way back to mid 1990s when she started her dissertation in Zoology/Primatology at the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands and continued her post-Doc studies at Yerkes Primate Center, Atlanta, Georgia in the U.S.A. Since then, for nearly a decade, Signe lectured zoology/primatology at various universities in the U.S.A. and in Austria and also held a position as the Scientific Director of Hope Chimpanzee Rehabilitation and Resocialisation Programme in Austria.
In 2007, an animal welfare organization, VIER PFOTEN (also known as Four Paws) established the Competence Center Apes and started to provide financial support for the BOS Foundation. And Signe has since been trusted to head the Center. Since 2009, Signe has been seconded to the BOS Foundation to help develop and optimize the orangutan reintroduction program at Samboja Lestari. She is now also the BOS Foundation Scientific Advisor.
As a daughter of a scientist dad with expertise in Physical Anthropology and Anatomy, Signe was inspired by her father to work with primates. She particularly loves the orangutans for many reasons. Orangutans are gentle, intelligent, naughty, strong, innocent and very brave. She also loves the fact that an orangutan has four hands and at least three of them are always holding on to something. She is fascinated to learn that they have excellent sense of smell and expressive eyes. And there are still many more reasons why Signe chooses to dedicate herself to the orangutans.
Signe hopes that in the near future orangutans in Indonesia will be efficiently protected in their natural habitat, thus rescues and rehabilitation processes will no longer be necessary. She also wishes to see a more effective synergy and collaboration between the BOS Foundation, other NGOs, government institutions and private sector to find and allocate other suitable and secure release areas for orangutans and, of course, a sustainable future for their habitat.