Dr. Louisa Richmond-Coggan
I possess more than 10 years of progressive experiences. A mixture of in-situ field based research programmes and ex-situ positions as part of international non-governmental organisations (NGO). The driving force in my career has been the desire to take the knowledge gained from scientific research and apply it to practical conservation management strategies. The experience and qualifications I’ve gained has developed my knowledge, passion for conservation and love of wildlife. I understand the complexities of implementing multiple projects simultaneously which has led to the successful completion of these projects. I believe that engaging with multiple stakeholders such as the local community, farmers, Governments, NGOs and corporate partners, is critical to the success of a broad reaching conservation strategy, its implementation and completion. I am passionate about large carnivore conservation and how communities can live and thrive alone side them. The long-term conservation of carnivores needs to happen outside protected areas across the farmland and develop new and dynamics ways to reduce human-wildlife conflict.
I graduated with a BSc Geography and Biology from Lancaster University (2004) which included a project in the Mara Triangle, Maasai Mara, Kenya looking at cheetah behaviour in relation to presence of spotted hyaena. My professional experience began as Programme Assistant for the UNEP-WCMC Protected Areas Programme and was followed by a position at TRAFFIC International as Project Co-ordinator. I was proud to be the course leader for the RGS-IBG remote camera trapping workshop for 3 years. My MSc in Conservation Biology was from the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, University and Kent (2006). My master’s research, which was in collaboration with a Darwin Initiative project and Friends of Conservation NGO, assessed wildlife distribution in the Greater Mara Ecosystem, Kenya by focusing on the effects of landscape variables and anthropogenic threats on four key species: elephants, lions, zebras, and wild dogs. For four years, I was the Scientific Team Leader for the Earthwatch Institute on the project ‘Scavengers of South Africa’ collecting data on abundance of brown hyaena as well as mentoring and teaching new skills to volunteers. I completed a PhD at Nottingham Trent University on the comparative abundance and ranging behaviour of brown hyaena inside and outside protected areas in South Africa. During my PhD I developed and ran a regional brown hyaena research project across two Provinces of South Africa. The PhD research was conducted in conjunction with the Earthwatch Institute, North West Parks and the Tourism board, as well as numerous private landowners. The thesis looked to understand the factors that affect the abundance and distribution of brown hyaena between areas of high and low human-wildlife conflict using GPS collars, remote camera traps, and questionnaires. As a researcher, my responsibilities included: data collection, data management, time and financial budgeting, organising the day-to-day project logistics and problem solving.
My latest role was the head of Ecology and Community based research at the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) in Namibia. I was responsible for coordinating and driving all aspects of ecology and community based research at CCF. I was involved in the development, set up, opertations and ecological studies such as carnivore distribution and mapping of conflict hot spots. I was also involved in data analysis, producing scientific publications, research proposals and grant applications as well as assisting CCF staff and interns with project planning and execution. During this time, I successful completed projects as I can see and understand not only the ‘big picture’ but how to break a project down into manageable pieces and seek supporting partners and collaborative stakeholders as required to ensure that when all the pieces are reassembled the outcome is an effective and successful project.