Our Visiting Fellows Scheme allows current and potential collaborators to spend time engaging closely with our team

Our ethos is that improving engagement and collaboration between researchers, conservation practitioners in the international and local NGO sectors, policy makers and influencers as well as related businesses will help to create and implement more effective and impactful strategies and interventions on the ground, informed by scientific research. This will help to bridge the widely recognised mismatch between academic research and conservation practice for issues surrounding the illegal and unsustainable wildlife trade. Conservation organisations contain many highly skilled individuals who have substantial experience in implementing conservation on the ground, and often have collected excellent datasets which could contribute to the academic evidence base on policy effectiveness. However, often they do not have the time, technical skills or academic environment within which to write these datasets up for publication, nor exposure to academics which can help ground theory in practice.

The programme offers such individuals (or other academics) the chance to spend up to 3 months with our core research team as well as our affiliated Interdisciplinary Centre for Conservation Science group at the University of Oxford to enable and develop collaborative publications, ideas or proposals. The Fellow will be encouraged to take part in a range of valuable interactions with other academic colleagues, students (undergraduate and post-graduate) and potential donors. Visiting Fellows will be encouraged to take part in and contribute to current or upcoming engagement initiatives, workshops or events, such as Trading Ideas or our annual Wildlife Trade Symposia.

Meet our Fellows:

Tatiana Arias

I am broadly interested in the sustainable use of Colombia’s unique biodiversity contributing towards economic and societal welfare of the country. My research aims to help preserve orchids of the Colombian Andes and their ecosystems by involving local communities in creating in-situ and ex-situ conservation strategies and by offering them an alternative mode of subsistence through legal orchid cultivation and commerce. I want to help transferring valuable knowledge from hobbyists to the local communities. We are creating a great partnership between collectors, communities and scientists to protect orchids. Orchids are flagship species that can help to promote the conservation of the entire Andean forests and its ecosystem services.

 

Anita Wan

Growing up in Hong Kong with constant exposure to a highly fast-paced, diverse and adaptive market, I have always carried a deep interest in pursuit of understanding wildlife consumption in different contexts, and the multifaceted nature of the consumer mind. I studied conservation and anthropology at DICE, and have also spent time working with Rare, Project Seahorse and GlobeScan, looking at trader and consumer behaviour, existent attitudes, and campaign effectiveness in promoting positive change towards sustainable use or demand reduction across different product types and international markets. I am currently based in Guangzhou in association with the Socio-Ecological and Conservation Science Lab at Sun Yat-sen University, conducting demand-side research in one of the largest hubs of domestic and cross-border trade for wildlife products in China.

 

Tien Ming Lee

Ming is a trained conservation scientist and defended his PhD thesis at the University of California, San Diego, USA. He completed two fellowships from Columbia and Yale Universities (Earth Institute) and Princeton University (Woodrow Wilson School). Taking a break from academia, he worked as a data scientist in an educational technology company in New York City. Late 2017, he started a prestigious professorship position at the Department of Ecology and Evolution, School of Life Sciences at Sun Yat-sen University, China. His team takes interdisciplinary and novel approaches to address illegal wildlife trade and sustainability issues in China.

Ming’s fellowship was kindly supported by the Oxford Martin School as an Oxford Martin Visiting Fellow

Edson Gandiwa

Professor Edson Gandiwa is currently a Professor of Wildlife Conservation and Management, and Dean, School of Wildlife, Ecology and Conservation at Chinhoyi University of Technology, Zimbabwe. Previously, he served as an ecologist within the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority based in Gonarezhou National Park. He has been involved in two assessments under the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). He has recently been involved as a community-based natural resource management expert in Zimbabwe’s Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) review. He holds a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Science and Health from the National University of Science and Technology, Zimbabwe, an MSc in Tropical Resource Ecology from the University of Zimbabwe and a PhD in Wildlife Conservation and Management from Wageningen University and Research, the Netherlands.

Edson’s fellowship was kindly supported by the African Oxford Initiative

Kofi Amponsah-Mensah

Kofi Amponsah-Mensah is an early career ecologist and conservationist, with a PhD from the University of Ghana. His research focused on the Ecology of fruit bats and their role in zoonotic disease transmission. He has research experience in Bushmeat trade and exploitation issues, market survey techniques and has been involved in projects addressing trade dynamics and implications of bushmeat exploitation for disease transmissions. He has also been involved in research addressing human-bat interactions and disease spillover risks. Currently he is a Research Officer at the Centre for African Wetlands at the University of Ghana. He is presently involved in a research exploring current bushmeat trade issues and market dynamics in Ghana, particularly, changes in bushmeat exploitation and trade in response to changing land use and the possible implications for species conservation and food security in Ghana.

Kofi’s fellowship was kindly supported by the African Oxford Initiative

Vivienne L. Williams

Dr Vivienne Williams is an ethnobiologist, ‘freelance academic’ and Senior Visiting Researcher in the School of Animal, Plant & Environmental Sciences (APES) at the University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg, South Africa), and a National Research Foundation (NRF) C1–rated researcher. Since she first stepped foot in a ‘muthi’ shop run by a sangoma in 1992, the key theme of her research has been wildlife trade (particularly the trade in plants and animals for traditional medicine purposes). She has undertaken applied multi-disciplinary research in traditional medicine markets and outlets across South and southern Africa. With students and collaborators, she has also investigated the trade in diverse taxa for traditional medicine across the continent – such as cycads, orchids, tree bark, birds, reptiles, pangolins and large carnivores including lion bones and their derivatives.

Viv’s fellowship was kindly supported by the African Oxford Initiative

Angelo Ramy Mandimbihasina

Angelo Ramy Mandimbihasina works for Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust Madagascar. His research involves following the different effects of poaching on a very threatened species of Malagasy tortoise, the ploughshare tortoise, Astrochelys yniphora.  Despite the high demand on the international pet trade and black market, wild populations are declining and exposed to a big risk of going extinct.  To escape from the threat of extinction, it is crucial to know the decline rate, its effect on the gene pool and inbreeding; also we should predict when the population will go extinct in order to find alternate solution for its conservation.

Angelo’s fellowship was kindly supported by the African Oxford Initiative

Medard Twinamatsiko

Dr. Medard Twinamatsiko is a Senior Researcher and Lecturer at Mbarara University of Science and Technology in the Department of Environment and Livelihood Support Systems with over 12 years of experience as a Development Conservationist. He has a PhD in Policy Management and Natural Resource Governance. He has previously implemented three Darwin Initiative projects and several other projects supported by Arcus Foundation, in the area of Natural Resource Governance. These projects were all aiming at linking conservation to community well-being. He brings expertise in community-based conservation approaches such as integration of governance and equity principles in natural resource management.

Medard’s fellowship was kindly supported by the African Oxford Initiative

Victor K. Muposhi

Dr Victor K. Muposhi is currently an Associate Professor of Conservation Science, and Deputy Dean, School of Wildlife, Ecology and Conservation at Chinhoyi University of Technology, Zimbabwe. He previously served as the founding Chairperson for the Wildlife and Safari Management. He holds a Bachelor of Environmental Science (Hons) in Wildlife and Rangeland Management, an MSc in Conservation Biology from Bindura University of Science Education, Zimbabwe and a DPhil in Conservation Biology from Chinhoyi University of Technology, Zimbabwe. Victor has keen interest in illegal wildlife trade, law enforcement and women empowerment in conservation. He endeavors to develop and support complementary pathways that engage and support communities to create an enabling environment thus reducing source markets for illegal wildlife trade. His research interests also focus on the molecular and ecological trade-offs of trophy hunting and their implications on conservation of wildlife species in Zimbabwe.

Victor’s fellowship was kindly supported by the African Oxford Initiative

Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu

I am a farmer, wildlife enthusiast, agricultural and biodiversity conservation community radio broadcaster. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in History and International Studies from Imo State University, Owerri, Nigeria and a Masters in International Development and Cooperation from the Institute for Advanced Studies of the University of Pavia, Italy. I use radio educational programs, to communicate latest agricultural science and biodiversity conservation trends, to enrich the knowledge of smallholder farmers in Nigeria. As Executive Director of The Smallholders Foundation, a rural development organization based in Imo State, South Eastern Region of Nigeria, our community radio station, the Smallholder Farmers Rural Radio (Farm 98.0 FM), is used to develop and broadcast 10 hours of daily agriculture, environmental and market information in the local Igbo Language to inform and improve the economic and environmental management capacity of local smallholder farmers.

 

Thona Lim

I am currently a Research Program Officer at Free the Bears (FtB), Cambodia. I completed my master degree in Biodiversity Conservation at the Royal University of Phnom Penh in 2015. My relevant experiences were about conducting both biological/ecological and social research in order to understand problems on biodiversity and wildlife, and throughout the research findings to provide the recommendations on wildlife conservation in my home country.  In my roles with Free the Bears, I have been and am currently involved in implementing the various research projects which responsibilities on coordinating the field research teams, collecting, managing and analyzing data etc.

 

Nuruliawati

Wildlife conservation has always been my interest and has turned into passion since I completed my bachelor degree in Biology at University of Indonesia (UI), majoring Ecology. My previous research was focused on bird responses to encroachment effects (edge effects) along Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, Lampung, Southern Sumatra, funded by Rufford Small Grants and Research Center for Climate Change UI (RCCC-UI). Currently, I am working at Wildlife Conservation Society Indonesia Program (WCS IP), one of the leading non-governmental organization, focused on conservation of wildlife and wild places in Indonesia. I joined WCS as Junior Researcher in Wildlife Policy Programme, early 2016. Since 2015, we have been working to support the Government of Indonesia to strengthen natural resources conservation policies, including revision of regulation and also improve the protected species list, by providing evidence-based researches.

Kumar Paudel

I am an environmental enthusiast who sees himself as a well-known conservationist in days to come. Following my dreams, I am working to understand the problems in conservation of biological diversity and wildlife; and, implement them in grass-roots level. I am leading a local environmental non-profit organisation called “Greenhood Nepal” as a founder president for last 5 years working. Here, I work with youths and community people to curb the illegal wildlife trade of endangered species and few other environmental programs.  I have worked for almost 7 years on community-based conservation, advocacy and campaigns. I have prepared and disseminated conservation awareness materials like hoarding boards, flex, infographics, documentaries, articles, etc. targeting the wide audience.

Yunita Setyorini

I was raised in part of the Republic Indonesia, which has the second largest biodiversity in the world. Since I was young, I’ve been interested on how to understand and manage mega diversity in Indonesia well. I completed my Bachelor Degree in Biology at Gadjah Mada University in 2013, undertaking several conservation activities including biodiversity surveys, campaigns and seminars. After I graduated, I joined a voluntary expedition called Ekspedisi NKRI Koridor Sulawesi, a joint program between Indonesian Army, Indonesian Scientific Authority, and several academic institutions in Indonesia. During my experience, I saw the real problem of how biodiversity is poorly understood and managed at the grassroots. Agriculture expansion on forests decreases environment quality, and impacts local communities who live near the forest.

For further information about our fellowships or to express your interest, please contact Nafeesa Esmail.