living fossil

Doctor Kurnia Oktavia Khairani

Dr. Kurnia Oktavia Khairani aka "Nia" is a young Indonesian animal doctor with a passion for research and conservation. From our first meeting, I found Nia to be on a quest for knowledge – not science for the sake of science, but studies of the world around her with a practical purpose. Nia believes that through knowledge you can change the world and her desires are to contribute to the preservation of the rarest rhinoceros on earth – the Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus).

Born in Jakarta, Indonesia and educated at Bogor Agricultural University, Nia completed an internship at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary and now works as a field researcher with the Rhino Foundation of Indonesia (Yayasan Badak Indonesia). With a special interest in epidemiology and public health, Nia's work is timely as she investigates disease risks from the commingling of domestic buffalo and people around Ujung Kulon National Park. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to the only viable population of Javan rhinoceros remaining on earth. Only by understanding the health of the animal and human communities around the park will we be able to secure the future of this amazing species.

Nia has one sister and two brothers. She is the youngest in her family, but her parents gave her the freedom to choose her unusual career path to become a wildlife veterinarian. In her spare time, Nia reads books of all kinds, with a special interest in popular science, the environment, history and fiction. She also loves to watch movies, especially science fiction, suspense and drama. Besides reading and movies, she is also passionate with music of all kinds from pop to more complicated Jazz. Music is a part of her life.

And just like every ordinary young lady, she enjoys spending time with her friends, just hanging out in some cozy place to have a long, great, tireless conversation with those who share the same curiosity and humor.

In the end, Nia has a favorite quote that she always keeps in her mind: Every human has four endowments- self-awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom. The power to choose, to respond, to change...(Stephen Covey).