The following scientists and conservation biologists make up the Edge of Existence team and collaborators. These individuals are involved in developing EDGE lists, undertaking research expeditions and initiating conservation projects for poorly-known and neglected EDGE species.


Jonathan is a global authority on the status and trends of threatened species. He is Conservation Programmes Director at the Zoological Society of London and works on a large number of projects which focus on monitoring the status of rare and threatened species.

Jonathan’s extensive fieldwork experience includes research and monitoring of western lowland gorillas in Gabon, Central Africa; developing ecotourism sites in Central Africa; monitoring rare endemic birds in the Gulf of Guinea; and behavioural studies of desert baboons in Namibia.

As the EDGE Programme Manager, Nisha oversees all EDGE science, research, conservation and capacity building initiatives, with the goal of developing the EDGE programme to keep pace with conservation needs in a changing world. 

Nisha’s previous work has included the mitigation of conflicts with elephants and tigers in the Western Ghats of India; researching endemic flora and fauna in the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania; rapid biodiversity surveys in Madagascar; counting jaguars, peccaries and other large mammals in the Amazon, and reintroducing swift fox to the North American prairies.

As the EDGE conservation biologist, Claudia mentors and advises the current terrestrial EDGE Fellows, teaches on the EDGE Tools/Leadership courses and helps to develop and manage our larger-scale EDGE projects. She also assists with the scientific research underpinning how EDGE identifies conservation priorities. Claudia previously worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Ecology and Conservation at the University of Sussex, where her research included an analysis of the global effectiveness of protected areas. She did her PhD and MSc at Oxford University, focussing on conservation strategies within oil palm landscapes of Sabah, Borneo.

Olivia is the EDGE Fellows Co-ordinator. She is responsible for coordinating the EDGE Fellowship Programme. The EDGE Fellows Programme supports aspiring in-country conservationists who carry out research on little known EDGE species.

Olivia has an MSc in Biodiversity Survey from the University of Sussex. Before undertaking this qualification she conducted research on the impact of slash and burn techniques on Tanzanian herpetofauna, and has helped coordinate a marine turtle monitoring project on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica.

Janice is the Project Coordinator for the online learning platform. It is an UfW-led initiative offering free massive open online courses on wildlife conservation, covering an array of topics ranging from introductory content to specific topics in the field. Working with multiple stakeholders, Janice is responsible for the development and implementation of this online project (learn.unitedforwildlife.org). She has also managed carbon accounting programmes in the hospitality industry, measuring greenhouse gas emissions and environmental performances.

As the EDGE Corals Coordinator Kirsty is responsible for training and mentoring the EDGE Coral Fellows and overseeing their projects. Kirsty has an MSc in Marine Environmental Management from the University of York and has undertaken a range of previous work including shark behavioural research in Fiji, monitoring of humpback whales in Hawaii, managing a team of Naturalist Guides on the Great Barrier Reef and working as a marine biologist on academic trips for high school students focusing on dolphins and turtles.

Hannah is the online learning project intern at EDGE. This internship involves assisting in the development of online content, sourcing online images and media to illustrate learning materials as well as moderating and interacting with the online learning community.

Rikki is working as part of the EDGE team to update the EDGE lists and develop a standardised methodology to more easily incorporate changes in both taxonomy and extinction risk to existing EDGE lists. Rikki plans to update the EDGE mammals and EDGE amphibian lists, and work toward the production of the first EDGE reptiles list.

Carolina is the Conservation Content Developer for the online learning platform. Working with the online learning Committee and Board Members, the technical implementer and the project team, she develops the United for Wildlife online learning curriculum and materials, learning activities and resources, and interactive discussion and coursework areas in the existing online learning platform. As a Conservation Biologist she did her PhD focussing on the ecology and conservation of medium-sized mammals carnivorous in the Doñana National Park, Spain. She has also branched out to ecotourism, communication and technological innovation applied to scientific outreach.


Sam is an expert on past and present mammal extinctions. His research addresses historical and prehistoric human impacts on global ecosystems and the magnitude of human-driven extinctions over time, and how to develop conservation strategies for today’s endangered mammal species.

Sam is already heavily involved with active conservation projects for top EDGE species. He has been one of the key co-ordinators for the recovery programme of the Critically Endangered Yangtze River dolphin and for the Hispaniolan solenodon.
Ben’s research has provided valuable insights into extinction processes and conservation decision-making. He is currently developing species-based biodiversity indicators to enable conservationists and policy-makers to determine whether we can achieve a significant reduction in the current rate of biodiversity loss.
Dave first studied evolutionary distinct species for his Master’s thesis project and now is researching how EDGE scores can be applied to the world’s birds. He also plans to investigate geographical patterns of distinctness with the hope of finding out which regions or habitats need to be prioritized.
Arne, a Canadian evolutionary biologist, is the author of over 40 papers and book chapters on the evolutionary aspects of biodiversity. Alongside recent work on the effects of El Niño on butterfly communities in Borneo, he has had a long-standing interest in the shape of the Tree of Life. It is this characteristic shape (a tree with many lonely species) that is captured in measures of Evolutionary Distinctiveness and so EDGE. Arne was trained at McGill University and at Oxford, and worked at the University of British Columbia and the Zoological Museum of Amsterdam.
Kate’s research is focused on the evolution of mammal biodiversity, understanding the processes that drive past and present patterns to predict the future. Kate works developing and analyzing global datasets of mammal distributions, life histories and phylogenies. In fact, she was part of the team that put together the supertree of all mammals, from which the ED part of the EDGE score is calculated.
Nick's background is in evolutionary biology and phylogenetic analysis. These skills are essential for calculating Evolutionary Distinctiveness scores. Nick is currently exploring how abundance varies among populations of butterflies and mammals in response to different forms of land-use. His research uses patterns in biodiversity to understand extinction risk and predict how threatened animals can survive into the future.

EDGE Sharks - coming soon!

Dr Matthew Gollock

Matthew is the project manager of the EDGE Sharks programme. He is responsible for co-ordinating project development, which includes fund-raising, liaising with partners developing the shark phylogeny, increasing the profile of the project and identifying conservation initiatives that could be applied to potential EDGE Shark focal species.
He has worked on the research and conservation of aquatic animals, particularly fish, for over 15 years and is also involved in other projects including the conservation of the Thames Estuary, the creation of the Chagos Marine Protected Area and freshwater fisheries management in Nepal. Read more.

Web team

Alasdair is a Technical Advisor for ZSL's Conservation Technology programme and a web developer for the EDGE of Existence programme. His current focus is the delivery of ZSL's Instant Wild project, the advancement of camera trapping technology and the future development of the EDGE website. Alasdair is also a founder and director of the primate conservation organisation The Great Primate Handshake.

James is a freelance web-developer. He is responsible for web programming, database design, and other related activities on the EDGE project. Having programmed computers in several different languages from the age of eight, James studied Physics at Imperial College, London. He worked as a software developer for ICL and then Deutsche Bank for nearly five years, before deciding to go freelance. In addition to his development work, James is a professional Thai massage teacher and practitioner and an occasional life-model and piano teacher.

David Tryse

David, originally from Sweden, lives in Ireland with his wife and works for an IT company. Passionate about nature since a young age his interest in conservation was particularly stirred during a recent year-long round-the-world trip, when he among other things made friends with a baby Giant Anteater in an Amazonian animal orphanage and on Borneo saw EDGE Species #97 the Orangutan, as well as the endless rows of palm-oil plantations that are now pushing it towards extinction. David created the EDGE Google Earth maps, allowing you to view EDGE species anywhere on the planet.