I specialize in human-wildlife conflict, in particular analysis, mediation, policy and training. My applied work concentrates mostly on community engagement and stakeholder dialogue, while my research focusses on quantitative and qualitative social research on livelihoods and the socio-cultural aspects of living near wildlife. I also work on policy and capacity building for conservation conflict mediation, particularly at national and intergovernmental levels.
I am Chair of the IUCN SSC Human-Wildlife Conflict Task Force and Senior Advisor on Human-Wildlife Conflict to the World Bank. I’m also a Member of the IUCN SSC Asian Elephant Specialist Group, the Cat Specialist Group, IUCN SOS Technical Advisory Board, and the Conservation Advisory Board of Elephant Family. I was previously with Chester Zoo for 18 years, most recently as of Head of Conservation Science, focussing on research & development, strategic partnerships and monitoring and evaluation.
Based at WildCRU, I lead a partnership between Chester Zoo and WildCRU which comprises an interdisciplinary team of doctoral and postdoctoral researchers studying a range of human-wildlife interactions around the globe. My work on human-wildlife conflict has included jaguars and pumas in Brazil and Venezuela, elephants in India and Indonesia, tigers in Nepal, bears in Bolivia, and fruit bats in Mauritius. I also designed and led five Darwin Initiative grants on human-wildlife conflict in India, Indonesia, Nepal and Bolivia.
I studied Zoology at Leeds University (BSc, 1997), Conservation Biology at the Durrell Institute for Conservation and Ecology (MSc, 2000), carried out my doctorate in WildCRU, Oxford University (DPhil, 2014), and trained in nonprofit strategic management at Harvard Business School (2015) and conflict negotiation and dispute resolution at Harvard Law School (2017).