Wildlife professional, animal scientist and field technician with diverse animal experience over a broad range of different species for monitoring, research, exhibition, education and wildlife management. Proficient at working as part of a team and working on my own. Strengths include:
- Field work and research
- Operant conditioning training and handling of canines as well as exotic species
- Animal scientist for carnivores, ungulates, small mammals and programme animals
- Detailed and organised record keeper
- Large and small scientific and public presentations and education
- Supervising and training staff, volunteers, and interns
Cape Town, South Africa
June 2017 – Present
Research assistant working on Panther’s Leopard Programme. Responsibilities include analysing camera trap data to identify species and individuals, updating the CameraCATalogue website and communicating with its citizen scientists, developing field guides for online use, graphic design, and coding statistical interfaces using R. Field research includes setting up and running monitoring surveys in remote locations throughout Southern Africa for an ongoing leopard census project.
Cheetah Conservation Fund
Asst. Operations Manager, Scat Detection Dog Programme Trainer, Volunteer and Intern Programme Supervisor
August 2016 – February 2017
Assisting in the daily operations of CCF, trainer for the Scat Detection Dog Programme, and supervisor of volunteers and interns. Responsibilities include scheduling staff, volunteers, and interns, daily husbandry for detection dogs and resident cheetahs, operant conditioning training, developing and implementing comprehensive training plans for dogs, ecological field work, monitoring free ranging rhinos and giraffes through camera trapping and on the ground tracking, organisation and analysis of data, creating research proposals, writing grants, assisting on human-wildlife conflicts, creating blogs and posts for social media, assisting the director on various projects, assisting on educational programmes, and writing, compiling, and editing mid-year and annual organisation reports.
Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Mammal Keeper, Lead Hoof stock
January 2016 – August 2016
Primary ungulate keeper at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. Responsibilities include management of giraffe and ungulate buildings, observation of animals, preparation and distribution of diets, husbandry care, area maintenance, assisting in veterinarian medical procedures, creation and implementation of enrichment, and answering questions and conducting tours for educational programs and the general public for the zoo’s collection of Dama gazelle, Grant’s zebra, Masai giraffes, ostriches, and springbok. I also assist the elephant staff as needed for general husbandry of the elephants and during zoo events.
Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Temporary Mammal Keeper
May 2015 – January 2016
Keeper at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium caring for Amur leopards, Amur tigers, African lions, cheetahs, clouded leopards, snow leopard, Northern black rhinos, Masai giraffe, Dama gazelle, springbok, ostriches, Caribbean flamingos, and Visayan warty pigs. Responsibilities include husbandry care, operant conditioning training, preparation and distribution of diets, record keeping, daily interactions with guests through behind the scenes tours, keeper talks, and overnight zoo functions. I worked both as part of a team and on my own in the various sections of the mammal and ungulate departments.
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort
Uniontown, PA, USA
Wildlife Coordinator II
March 2013 – June 2015
Animal care staff at Nemacolin Wildlife Academy at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. Responsible for the care and husbandry of a variety of mammals, reptiles, and birds, maintenance of exhibits, guide for safari tours zoo-train tours, horseback trail rides, dog sled tours, and writing scripts and performing in educational exotic animal shows both on and off property, supervising and training of interns.
Frostburg State University
Bismarck, ND , USA
June 2012 – August 2012
Project coordinator for range assessment surveys for river otters and a research survey of public attitudes about the impact American beaver have on the environment and properties. Required meeting with organizational heads, interviewing anglers in person, and mailing out and recording data. I assisted the ND Game and Fish on various projects including deer necropsies, fisher scat analysis, and removal of nuisance beaver lodges.
National Geographic Society
Washington, DC, USA
Big Cats Initiative Intern
June 2011 – August 2011
First intern selected to work on the Big Cats Initiative, an action-based program to safeguard and restore big cat populations and the ecosystems they inhabit. I helped to organise big cat grant applications, money transfers, data collected from the field, press releases, publication, and grantee information and communications. I helped to plan and organise the 2011 Big Cats Educator’s Event, and assisted with the 2011 National Geographic Explorers Symposium. I participated in local outreach and education at an affiliated local elementary school through their “Cause An Uproar” program.
Nooner White-tail Ranch
Hondo, TX, USA
June 2010 – August 2010
Responsible for daily maintenance, husbandry, and medical care of white-tailed deer fawns. Responsible for record-keeping, leadership of station for fawns 24 hours-10 days old, and responsible for husbandry of mature three to five year old bucks. Other responsibilities included: ranch maintenance, trapping of nuisance mammals, and operation of ATVs and small equipment machinery.
Banfield Pet Hospital
Gaithersburg, MD, USA
June 2009 – August 2010 intermittent
Veterinary Assistant in medical procedures from general health checks, to administration of vaccinations and medications, to assisting anesthesiologist nurse during surgeries. Responsibilities included checking clients into the computer system, performing preliminary checkup of patients, administering vaccines, recording patient notes, answering telephone calls, scheduling appointments, general facility maintenance, and assisting veterinarian when needed.
Other Relevant Experience
Wild Acres Farm
Poolesville, MD, USA
September 1997 – May 2012
I managed a small family farm raising horses, sheep, goats, swine, Texas longhorn cattle, and chickens. I was responsible for the care and management of the livestock which included assisting with breeding, births, veterinary care, training, showing, and record keeping.
Lipsitt Training Services Inc.
Poolesville, MD, USA
Apprentice Dog Trainer
May 2001 – August 2001
Worked as an apprentice dog trainer training basic and advanced obedience, agility, show performance, and socializing puppies for livestock guardian dog duties utilising operant conditioning training. I assisted in general kennel maintenance, cleaning, and basic grooming for boarding dogs.
Skills and Abilities
- Wildlife surveying and monitoring
- GPS Data collection
- Analytical data analyses
- Mammal and avian physical capture traps: mist netting, box traps, and foot hold traps.
- Habitat range assessment surveying experience
- Research design and proposal writing
- Data collection
- Hiking and camping in different climates (mountains, forest, African bush)
- Tagging and banding experience with small mammals, birds, hoofed stock, and fish
- Stream sampling methods including backpack electroshocking, boat electroshocking, and kick net sampling
- Experienced with GPS, maps, and compass use
- Extensive knowledge of the care of many different species of animals including large and small cats, hyenas, canids, bears, ungulates, pachyderms, small mammals, parrots, macaws, primates, reptiles, and invertebrates. Education program animals include: small mammals, reptiles, invertebrates, and birds.
- Operant conditioning training experience with over 24 species including cats, canines, bears, birds, hoofed stock, small mammals, and reptiles for husbandry and medical behaviors such as voluntary ultrasound and injections, as well as appropriate animal behaviors for show and educational events.
- Creating husbandry and training routine protocols and manuals
- Daily husbandry: cleaning, feeding, and observation
- Formulating diets
- Provide, design, build, and evaluate enrichment.
- Performed animal captures and restraint using crates, netting, squeeze cage, and hand grabbing.
- Assist in veterinary procedures through restraint, topical and oral administration of medications, subcutaneous, intramuscular, and intravenous injections, intravenous catheter placement, urethral catheter placement, sample collections, tagging, and training animal behaviors for medical procedures.
- Microsoft Office
- Web design and maintenance; HTML
- Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and graphic design
- Social media for professional reach
- Customer service: setting up appointments, contact point person, reception, answering phones, and conducting tours
- Grant proposal writing
- Coding and programming
- Supervising and training new staff and interns
- ATV/4×4/Tractor/manual vehicle driving experience
- Basic mechanics
- Experienced with hand, electric, and gas-powered tools
- PADI Open Water Diver Certified
- Creating educational scripts for animal shows and presentations
- Presenting research in both poster presentations and formal talks to large groups
University of Cape Town
Cape Town, South Africa
Master of Science Candidate
Serval population densities and occupancy in South Africa
West Virginia University
Morgantown, West Virginia, USA
Bachelor of Science
Major: Wildlife and Fisheries Resources
Minor: Conservation Ecology