Since its formation, iCWild has graduated a number students with expertise in conservation conflict from ecological, social and governance perspectives. These alumni have since taken up various strategic roles in conservation-related policy development and practice. Their experience and expertise continues to guide management decisions, and how it shapes values and behaviour towards wildlife in Africa.
Marine is a French conservation scientist with a passion for wildlife, science and the wilderness, be it in Africa or Alaska. She grew up between the green hills of Champagne and the capital city of France, Paris, where she first received a degree in languages and neurosciences at the University of Paris Diderot (Paris VII). She then graduated with an M.Sc. in Biodiversity-Ecology-Evolution, specializing in Conservation Biology at the University Pierre and Marie Curie (Paris VI) in 2009. Her thesis was conducted in France and Zimbabwe where she studied the ecophysiology of plains zebras and Przewalski horses. Since then, Marine has worked on various predator projects spread over 4 continents. She returned to University in 2013 to pursue her PhD in wildlife conservation and behavioural ecology at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Marine has a lifelong interest in conservation and wildlife ecology and is particularly interested in human-carnivore relationships. She sees conflict between animals and humans, as being the biggest challenge that wildlife conservationists will have to face in the 21st century. When she is not tracking animals or writing up her PhD, Marine loves trail running, rock and ice climbing and any outdoor adventure.
Thesis title: The Karoo Predator Project – Understanding the socio-ecological mechanisms behind farmer-predator conflict in the Karoo, South Africa
Main supervisor: Prof. Justin O’Riain
Co-supervisors: Prof. Nicoli Nattrass, Prof. Beatrice Conradie, Prof. Allan Clark
Born and raised in New Jersey, Caitlin has been working in wildlife conservation for the past five years. Before starting her degree at UCT, Caitlin worked in Washington D.C. as a Foundation Relations Manager for Defenders of Wildlife, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of North American biodiversity. She focused on the strategic development of foundation and corporate giving to support field projects across the country, from reducing human-wildlife conflict to strengthening key environmental safeguards such as the Endangered Species Act. In 2016, Caitlin graduated from the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders program, a two-year course focused on capacity building, skills training and the implementation of a wildlife conservation campaign. Through this program, Caitlin worked with Giraffe Conservation Foundation in Namibia to implement an international media campaign and launch a first of its kind investigation into the impacts of trade on giraffe populations. Caitlin’s passion for African wildlife and wild places was fostered during a year abroad in 2010 when she worked for a wide variety of environmental initiatives while traveling from the Norwegian Arctic to South Africa. Caitlin graduated from the University of Virginia with a double major in Foreign Affairs and Religious Studies.
Shannon grew up in Connecticut, USA, and has always been fascinated with animal behaviour. She studied Biology at James Madison University, concentrating on Ecology, while also participating full time in the university swim team. Eager to pursue her interest in behavioural studies, Shannon spent time in the psychology department, involved in multiple studies with field mice investigating landmark usage in foraging behaviours. During her studies, Shannon had the opportunity to volunteer at the Ann van Dyk Cheetah and Wild Dog Centre in the North West Province of South Africa, and was immediately captivated by the African wildlife. After spending time on a baboon behavioural research project in Cape Town, Shannon joined the Urban Caracal Project to gain insight into the area usage and movements of these elusive cats. When not running around the bush after wild animals, Shannon enjoys music, wine tasting, running, and spending time at the beach.