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I am a freelance wildlife biologist, conservationist, writer and activist, a National Geographic Explorer, and on the Executive Committee of the IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group, Section on Great Apes (SGA), for which I am Deputy Vice Chair. I helped to launch the IUCN-SGA in 2004 and the IUCN-ARRC Task Force in 2020. My work and research have focused on conserving wildlife and their environment - particularly great apes and their forest habitats in Africa. I have tried to address threats to wildlife at multiple levels and from different angles, including fieldwork, research, policy, advocacy, fundraising, conservation planning, writing, and film-making. Working from these different viewpoints has given me a breadth of perspective that has helped me to develop a stronger vision of what it is going to take to protect our closest living relatives from extinction.  


In 2018, my work took a new direction as I turned my attention to storytelling as a means of transmitting conservation messages to reach a wider audience. In April and May of 2018, award-winning filmmaker Kalyanee Mam and I traveled to Guinea to work with national NGO Guinee Ecologie founder Mamadou Saliou Diallo, to document the traditions and cultures in the Fouta Djallon, Guinea, that have resulted in the protection of the chimpanzees for centuries. We joined Editor and Producer Chris Brown to complete this beautiful yet haunting film: Cries of Our Ancestors. 


One of my greatest passions is the empowerment of women as conservation leaders, and I have worked with Leeanne Alonso and many other amazing women to help launch the Women in Nature Network. For the past two years, I have researched and written a book, Intertwined: Women, Nature, and Climate Justice. It will be available on April 30th, 2024! ​I have a BSc from the University of Guelph, Canada, an MSc from the University of St. Andrews, and a PhD from the University of Stirling, Scotland, and I have been a Research Fellow at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, and a Visiting Scholar at the University of Berkeley, California.​

Photo by Kalyanee Mam taken in Bossou, Guinea 2018

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