Michelle Blanckenberg is a first year PhD student looking at how the creation of a special nature reserve within a small livestock farming region will impact mammalian species richness, relative abundance and livestock losses. Michelle completed her B.Sc. degree and B.Sc. Hons at Rhodes University focusing on Zoology and Environmental Science. In 2017 she completed her M.Sc. in Conservation Biology at the University of Cape Town. Michelle’s love for the environment and conservation stems from the many adventures spent in Namibia and Botswana. She is passionate about conservation and ultimately aims to become an expert in landscape ecology, restoration and conflict resolution. Michelle is especially interested in aspects of community based conservation through environmental education and social ecology.