Professor Anne Russon from Glendon’s Department of Psychology will be one of three faculty members honoured by York for their outstanding research contributions to the University with the 2018 Distinguished Research Professorships.
The title is given to active members of the academy in recognition of their scholarly achievements in research.
Russon has been a York faculty member in Glendon’s Psychology Department for 37 years, having started as a part-time course director and later gaining a tenure-track faculty position. In 1988, she embarked on the study of orangutans in Borneo in 1988 and has continued research in that field.
“I am greatly honoured, and astonished, at being selected as a York Distinguished Professor this year,” said Russon. “York played a major role in the scholarly success I have achieved. I hope my work has enriched my teaching and my contributions to university life. I am very thankful for this honour, and express my deep thanks to York.”
Russon was a 2017 recipient of the York University President’s Research Excellence Award, and has earned international recognition for her work as a behavioural primatologist and research on orangutans. She has received many awards over her career, including: the Glendon College Principal’s Research Excellence Award (twice), the York University Research Development Fellowship, to list a few.
In addition to her role as executive director of the Borneo Orangutan Society of Canada, Russon has served as scientific advisor for several orangutan documentaries and orangutan support organizations, including: Alchemy Films, New Zealand Natural History Unit; Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation, Indonesia; and the Orangutan Conservancy, USA. Since 2009, she has been studying the behaviour of wild orangutans in Kutai National Park in East Kalimantan, Borneo.
Russon is the author of several popular books dealing with great apes, including Orangutans: Wizards of the Rainforest, Reaching into Thought: The Minds of the Great Apes and The Evolution of Thought: Evolution of Great Ape Intelligence. In 2014, Russon was in a feature article in The New Yorker magazine.