The driving force behind the career path I have taken has been my desire to use the knowledge gained from scientific research and apply it to conservation management action plans and strategies. Every experience and qualification I gained has developed my understanding of the field of conservation and the logistical requirements needed to run a project as well as feeding my enthusiasm and love of wildlife and conservation. Discussing human-wildlife conflict with local Maasai communities in Kenya or Afrikaans farming community in South Africa and Namibia, the fundamental message is the same, but the solutions are very different and that is where I believe the challenge lies.
In 2014 I completed my PhD which taught me so many new skills from project management to engaging with stakeholders and working remotely effectively. I put all these new skills into practice for two and half years as ecology manager at the Cheetah Conservation Fund, Namibia. Working in situ gave me the opportunity to be involved directly with intricate issues such as human-carnivore conflict, land use planning, community based conservation and landscape scale carnivore surveying. Since 2017 I have been undertaking a national leopard census study in Namibia as an ecological consultant. This was a highly complex study that required the collaboration of multiple stakeholder groups from farmers to hunters, NGOs and government. It was extremely challenging but as the results are being used by Namibia's government and CITES as part of the Namibian national leopard management strategy plan this was the best outcome possible. I am now planning phase 2 of the leopard project to further our understanding of the leopard across Namibia.