We’ve had some new additions to the CCF family in Namibia and also one staff member who is returning to us after studying in England.
Nina Sausgruber (PhD) recently joined CCF as Manager of the Cheetah Genetics Laboratory. Nina was born and raised in Germany and has had training in Biotechnology, completing a Bachelor and Masters degree on this area. Nina also obtained her doctoral degree in Cell Biology from the University of Basel in Switzerland and has over 10 years of research experience in academia and industry in various positions. She’s also trained as a Safari Guide (FGASA level 1) and Back-up Trails Guide (2ndrifle) and completed a course on Wildlife management in 2017. She is looking forward to using her people and project management experience as well as her scientific background during her time at CCF to enhance our knowledge about cheetah and carnivore genetics, ultimately enabling us to protect them better.
Carolina Torres recently joined CCF as Ecologist/Conservation scientist. Carolina was born and raised in Colombia. Even though her career started off as an Industrial Engineer, she decided to commit her life and career to conservation which led her to volunteer and work for WWF in Colombia for two years prior to obtaining her MSc. Carolina obtained her MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management from the University of Oxford, and conducted her research in South Africa in implementing photography with current aerial monitoring methods to get more detailed information (e.g. sex, age, and other demographics) from wildlife surveys, using Cape buffalo as a case study. She also worked with an ecotourism company in Colombia (Awake Adventures) to develop a conservation-through-ecotourism strategy and established partnerships with conservation NGOs to pool efforts towards the same cause. She is looking forward during her time at CCF to collaborate in different areas to help towards the conservation of cheetahs and Namibia’s wildlife.
Eli Walker recently came back to CCF after finishing his Masters studies, he obtained his MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management from the University of Oxford, UK. Eli grew up in Locust Grove, Georgia USA and also has a BSc with two majors from Unity College in Maine, USA in Wildlife Biology, and Captive Wildlife Care and Education.
Eli started off at CCF as an intern in 2011 and later on was hired on to our full time staff as Research Technician. Before leaving to Oxford he worked on several of our projects – running our scat detection programme, working closely with the husbandry team, he has been one of the primary caretakers/handlers of CCF’s Ambassador cheetahs, and has also been responsible for releasing and monitoring cheetahs back into the wild, as well as helping with a variety of maintenance work in and around CCF’s centre. Now he will be joining CCF again as Curator, he will be overseeing all of our captive wildlife operations and will be coordinating the work we do involving anything hands-on with wildlife – captive or wild (collaring, captures, releases, human-wildlife conflict, etc.), he will also be managing all of our database and data systems across the organisation, and will explore how we can deploy new technologies for improved data capture, storage, and analysis.