EDGE Fellowship Manager
My role at ZSL
I run the EDGE Fellowship programme at ZSL. This programme provides training, funding and mentorship to early career conservationists working on Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) species. The role involves a wide variety of tasks, from recruiting and selecting new EDGE Fellows, to teaching a variety of project management sessions and coordinating two annual training courses. Since 2007, we have supported 49 Fellows working on 48 different EDGE species across 29 countries, which keeps me busy!
I have 5 years’ experience co-ordinating conservation projects; ranging from developing and undertaking research projects in East Africa and Central America, to recruiting and evaluating a portfolio of international conservation projects for a UK charity. I am interested in community-led conservation and, in particular, the role that capacity building plays in supporting effective conservation in developing countries. The best part of my job at ZSL is working with the EDGE Fellows on the training courses, learning about their culture and mentoring them through their two-year projects.
Highlight of my conservation career so far
Like many people, I grew up watching David Attenborough’s wildlife documentaries, so when he agreed to launch a freshwater conservation project I was co-ordinating in Richmond Park, I made the most of the opportunity to meet (and hug!) my hero.
A species I admire
Myers' Surinam Toad (Pipa myersi) - this EDGE toad is very unique, the female embeds eggs into its skin and, when the time is right, fully formed froglets emerge from the skin!
A word of advice if you want a career in conservation
Attend as many free conferences and talks as you can to build your knowledge and meet people already working in conservation.
Projects I’m working on
I currently coordinate 20 EDGE Fellowship projects on the following EDGE species:
- Mammals - Baird’s tapir, Chacoan peccary, Rondo dwarf galago, Seychelles sheath-tailed bat, Pygmy sloth, West-African manatee, Ganges river dolphin, Handley's slender mouse opossum
- Amphibians - Sooglossid frogs, Lake Lerma salamander, Chinese giant salamander, Sagalla caecilian, Taylor's Salamander, Misbelt chirping frog
- Birds - hooded grebe, Philippine eagle
- Corals - Montastrea faveolata, Dendrogyra cylindrus, Horastrea indica and pillar corals