I am a Life Scientist and Wildlife Conservationist with a BSc (Honours) in Life Sciences. I have experience in wildlife conservation, molecular biology and science communication. I also have a degree in German Law.
I have been passionate about genetics and conservation for a long time and have been working as a volunteer at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo for several years. I had the idea for this project whilst volunteering at the N/a’an ku sê Foundation’s in Namibia in 2015.
During all my studies and projects, I have always enjoyed an interdisciplinary approach to finding solutions and I believe that many problems are multifactorial and should therefore be approached with an open mind and from many different angles. Therefore, this project combines my love for genetics with my passion for conservation science, it combines laboratory and field work, which I both thoroughly enjoy. And I believe that to solve the problem of poor genetic variation, both in the cheetah as well as in other species, it is necessary to combine different scientific fields and think outside the box. As a lawyer and scientist, I have been trained to always find a solution, to persevere and not be afraid to try out new approaches. I am therefore determined to make this project happen, to find out whether FIT can establish relatedness and to contribute to increasing the genetic variation of the cheetah.
As this is a self-funded PhD, I am the only official team member. However, I work together with my supervisors at Heriot-Watt University, Associate Professors Peter Morris and Derek Jamieson, as well as the N/a’an ku se Foundation in Namibia and Dr Zoe Jewell and Dr Sky Alibhai from WildTrack in the USA. In addition, I consult with various wildlife geneticists globally.