Michael Butler Brown
Michael is a PhD student at Dartmouth College’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. He currently studies the population ecology of the largest wild population of Rothschild’s giraffe in Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda. Prior to his work on giraffe, Michael was a zebra guy; after receiving his Master’s degree in conservation biology from Columbia University in 2012, Michael managed the Laikipia Zebra Project for Princeton University in Kenya. While in Kenya, Michael led monitoring efforts to understand population dynamics of the endangered Grevy’s zebra and managed studies to examine zebra movement ecology across the semi-arid rangelands. He now looks to translate these approaches into a nuanced understanding of the interplay of Rothschild’s giraffe population dynamics and spatial ecology. Michael brings a deep appreciation for both field research and applied quantitative ecology; seeking to integrate ecological understandings into meaningful conservation strategy.
Rachel du Raan
Rachel has a BSc in Environmental Studies, specialising in human-wildlife conflict. She was involved with the Namibia African Wild Dog Project (NAWDP) assessing species status and conflict management in the Mangetti Region of Namibia. As a registered Environmental Practitioner with EAPAN, she worked as an Environmental Officer in the mining sector in Namibia. Rachel is GCF’s Environmental Education Coordinator and is in charge of the Khomas Environmental Education Programme (KEEP).
As Co-Director and Co-Founder Steph handles GCF’s day-to-day business. She is a skilled and experienced project manager with a range of international expertise in the environmental and conservation sectors. With an MSc in Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Infrastructure, she has successfully worked in diverse working cultures and multi-disciplinary teams within the private, Government and NGO sector on three continents – Africa, Australia and Europe – and her expertise ranges from community based natural resource management to technical sustainability solutions. For the past 15 years she has been involved in a wide range of giraffe projects across Africa and particularly enjoys the fieldwork component. She is a member and secretary of the IUCN SSC Giraffe & Okapi Specialist Group.
Emma is a PhD student at University College Dublin’s School of Biology and Environmental Science. She currently studies the population ecology of the giraffe of north-western Namibia, investigating a variety of factors effecting the conservation of this unique population of giraffe. With a background in psychology, Emma brings an understanding of animal communication and social dynamics which she applies to her research. Recognising the importance of an ecosystem approach to conservation, Emma also investigates the impact of other mega-fauna, such as elephant and lion, on the study population. GCF provides significant support to make her study possible. Emma is passionate about sharing the story of Namibia’s desert-dwelling giraffe, and as part of her research provides regular updates for our Adopt a Giraffe Programme as well as offering opportunities for conservation supporters to join us in the field.
Arthur is GCF’s East Africa Coordinator, a new role set up to bring together research efforts and partnerships to secure the future of the three subspecies that occur in the region: Masai, reticulated, and Rothschild’s giraffe. At the same time, Arthur is pursuing his PhD at the Research on the Ecology of Carnivores and their Prey (RECaP) laboratory at Michigan State University (MSU). Originally from Rwanda, he spent his formative years living and learning in Kenya, one of the most biologically diverse countries in Africa, where he nurtured an interest in wildlife ecology and conservation. With the support of the highly prestigious MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program Scholarship, which recognises outstanding young Africans who show commitment to the development and protection of Africa’s resources, Arthur mapped the regional variation and severity of Giraffe Skin Disease (GSD) in Africa and studied the spatial distribution of GSD in Ruaha National Park, Tanzania for this Master’s studies at MSU. For his PhD (supported through a Leiden Conservation Foundation Fellowship), Arthur investigates a variety of factors affecting the survival and reproduction of giraffe populations across East Africa. Through his role at GCF and his PhD research, Arthur intends to contribute to securing a future for all giraffe in East Africa.
Nat Sullivan & Emma Wells
Nat and Emma have joined GCF in Namibia as a roving research team in early 2018. The team will be travelling around Southern Africa to assess giraffe populations and establish a better idea of numbers and their distributions. Both come from a zoo background with 35 years of experience between them and have been involved in numerous field conservation projects with endangered local wildlife in their native New Zealand. While Nat is specialised in captive giraffe and has supervised several giraffe moves within and between NZ and Australia, Emma’s passion for giraffe was only ignited during a trip with GCF to northwestern Namibia in 2016.