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EDGE Team

Many people are involved in the EDGE of Existence Programme’s activities, developing EDGE lists, mentoring EDGE Fellows, undertaking expeditions and initiating conservation projects for poorly-known and neglected EDGE species.

Questions, comments or feedback? Contact us on info@edgeofexistence.org

Media enquiries? Contact our Science and Conservation Press Officer Tom.Jennings@zsl.org

Dr. Nisha Owen

Nisha Owen, EDGE of Existence Programme Manager

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.

 

Dr. Claudia Gray

Claudia Gray, EDGE of Existence Conservation Biologist

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 Couchman

EDGE of Existence Fellowship Manager Olivia Couchman

Olivia is the EDGE Fellowship Manager. She is responsible for the EDGE Fellowships. The EDGE Fellowships support 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.

 

Charlie Debenham

Charlie Debenham, EDGE of Existence Projects Assistant

Charlie is the Projects Assistant for the EDGE programme, supporting the delivery of the EDGE Fellowship conservation capacity building initiative. She also acts as communications manager for EDGE.

Charlie has an MSc in Biodiversity and Conservation from the University of Leeds, during which she travelled to Kenya to study the effects of elephant damage on vegetation in wildlife reserves. In the past she has also carried out research in Ecuador and Peru, studying the fauna and flora in Amazonian tropical rainforest habitats.

 

Kirsty Richards

EDGE of Existence Marine Coordinator Kirsty Richards

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.

 

Janice Law

Online Learning Project Coordinator Janice Law

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.

 

Dr. Carolina Soto Navarro

Carolina Soto Navarro, Conservation Content Developer

As the Conservation Content Developer for the United for Wildlife online learning project, Carolina produces the conservation content in collaboration with the Course Content Steering Committee, the technical implementer and the project team. She also helps to develop our EDGE scientific expeditions. Carolina did her MSc and PhD at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) focusing  on the ecology and conservation of  mammals in Mediterranean protected areas. She also has a MSc in Learning and Teaching (Science) and branched out to ecotourism, communication and technological innovation applied to scientific outreach.

 

Rikki Gumbs

Rikki Gumbs, EDGE of Existence PhD Student

Rikki is a PhD student with EDGE and Imperial College London, and works to incorporate the latest scientific advances into our prioritisation protocol. This includes updating our existing EDGE lists, creating new EDGE lists, expanding the scope of EDGE Zones, and working on the development of EDGE v2.0—which will change how we identify priority species. As part of Rikki’s PhD, he is also exploring the relationship between phylogenetic diversity, trait diversity, and extinction risk. Rikki is passionate about the conservation of reptiles, and supports our EDGE reptile Fellows with their EDGE Fellowships.

 

Dr. Davi Teles

Davi Teles, EDGE Regional Projects Manager for Latin America

Davi is the EDGE Regional Projects Manager for Latin America. He provides training and supervision for current EDGE fellows and offers assistance to EDGE alumni in this region. He also supports EDGE projects, such as the long-term monitoring and community engagement work for the pygmy sloth in Panama. Davi is a firm believer in local capacity building as an effective conservation tool and has been directly involved in biodiversity conservation research and action since 2007. He coordinated part of a community-based monitoring program inside Amazonian protected areas and more recently was involved in evaluating the influence of politics on environmental protection in Brazil.

 

 

Collaborators

Dr. James Rosindell, Imperial College London

Ben Tapley, ZSL

Dr. Nick Isaac, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Dr. Monni Bohm, Institute of Zoology

Dr. Robin Freeman, Institute of Zoology

Dr. Dave Redding, University College London

Dr. Sam Turvey, Institute of Zoology

Prof. Arne Mooers, Simon Fraser University

Dr. Walter Jetz, Yale University

Dr. Dan Faith, Australian Museum

Dr. Will Pearse, Utah State University

Dr. Caroline Tucker, University of North Carolina

Dr. Felix Forest, Kew Gardens

Dr. Kamran Safi, Max Planck Institute of Ornithology

Dr. Gavin Thomas, University of Sheffield

Prof. Mike Steel, University of Canterbury

Dr. Ben Collen, University College London

Prof. Kate Jones, University College London

IUCN Shark Specialist Group

BirdLife International

 

 

Special thanks to

Dr. Jonathan Baillie

Carly Waterman

Al Davies

James Sanford

David Tryse