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:

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.



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.