I am a Postdoctoral Research Fellow working as a social conservation scientist for the South African research Chair on Biodiversity and Value Change at the University of Venda in South Africa. I am also an Honorary Research Associate at the Sustainable Places Research Institute in the U.K.
My research involves working collaboratively with rural communities to promote the sustainable use of natural resources in South Africa. Currently, I am exploring how indigenous knowledge of plants among the Vhavenda people can be revived and used to guide the restoration of plants and forests on community lands.
I am also interested in finding sustainable solutions to mitigating conflicts between humans and carnivores to protect local livelihoods and to foster biodiversity conservation. I am developing an education programme for schools to raise awareness of the importance of carnivores for supporting ecosystem services for people in rural landscapes.
My previous positions include working as a Research Associate for the Sustainable Places Research Institute at Cardiff University and the University of the West of England. I completed a PhD at Durham University exploring the social-ecological drivers influencing conflicts between farmers and leopards in South Africa. In addition to South Africa, I also have fieldwork experience in Kenya, Uganda and the Seychelles.
I live in Venda South Africa and enjoy growing food in my new vegetable garden, hiking and exploring the beautiful landscapes of the Soutpansberg.