sections image

Africa Section Communications/E-mentoring Program

The SCB Africa Section Communications/E-mentoring Program is the first virtual mentoring program in conservation biology aimed specifically at Africans. The program started in 2007/2008 with two rounds happening in 2008/2009 and 2009/2010, training a total of 48 mentees. 

After nearly four years of closure, we are happy to launch the 4th phase of the program. In this year’s cohort, we have successfully paired 16 mentors with 16 mentees from 10 countries across Africa, such as Liberia, Cameroun, Benin, Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, Madagascar, Ghana, Botswana, and Democratic Republic of Congo. This year’s mentors come from different parts of the world including Europe, North America, Asia, and Africa.

Meet the Mentors (below)

Meet the Mentees:

Amanda Kgaogelo Maswanganye

Location: Pretoria, South Africa

  • Doctoral student at the University of Pretoria in the departments of Zoology, Entomology, and Genetics working on rock mice and hyrax
  • Main research interests are molecular biology, conservation, and reproduction of small mammals
  • Lecturer in molecular and cell biology at the University's Mamelodi campus
  • Hobbies include reading and taking nature hikes

Oladokun Yetunde Olasimbo Mary

Location: Ibadan, Nigeria

  • Main research interest is Gender Studies in Agricultural Economics
  • Purpose of participating in the mentoring program:  Proposal writing
  • Hobbies include singing 

Jonas Kambale Nyumu

Location: Kisangani city, Oriental Province, DR Congo

  • M.Sc. student and Assistant Lecturer and Researcher at Tayna Center for Conservation Biology 
  • Main research interest is biodiversity conservation, particularly exploited mammals for bushmeat in Ituri forest and small mammals (Rodentia)
  • Hobbies include running, music, National Geographic documentaries and ecotourism with friends
  • Currently in the Sciences Faculty, the University of Kisangani (UNIKIS)


Location: Cameroon

  • Holds a B.Sc. in Zoology
  • Second year Masters student Faculty of Science of the University of Dschang studying Applied Ecology and Wildlife Management
  • Research interests: ecological and biodiversity conservation with an emphasis on ornithological studies 


SALAKO Kolawolé Valère

Location: Benin Republic

  • Research assistant and Ph.D. student at the Laboratory of Applied Ecology at the University of Abomey-Calavi
  • Research interests include conservation strategies and designing management, sustainable use. and ecosystem restoration plans
  • Hobbies include exploration tours, walking in the forest, reading on the solar system and volunteering in the education sector

David Amaning Kwarteng

Location: Ghana

  • Currently working for Ghana's first Amphibian and Reptile Conservation organisation, Herp-Conservation Ghana
  • Working to understand the threats amphibians are facing in Ghana and galvanize support to halt them
  • Hobbies include reading and watching movies


Location: Cameroon

  • Completed his Ph.D. in 2012 at the University of Yaoundé 1 on the study of the vegetation of the Kom-Mengamé forest conservation complex
  • Lecturer at the University of Douala teaching botany, environment & biodiversity courses
  • Research interests include:  forest ecology and management, conservation biology, ethnobiology and valuation of ecosystem services assessment

Menladi M. Lormie 

Location: Liberia

  • Biologist at the Forestry Development Authority at the proposed Wonegizi Nature Reserve in Lofa County, Liberia
  • Research interests include the biomonitoring of wildlife populations and threats to their refuges
  • Participant in a nationwide chimpanzee and mammal research conducted by Pan African Monitoring Program and served as co-author to an article from the survey entitled ‘Conservation status of chimpanzee Pan troglodytes verus and other large mammal in Liberia: a nationwide survey’
  • Hobbies include reading, listening to music, and watching movies 

Mr Mbeng Donatus W.

Location: Cameroon

  • Currently a biology teacher in Government Bilingual High school Yaounde and is presently enrolled as a PhD student in the University of Yaounde 1 
  • Hobbies include reading, traveling, volunteering, sports, music, and singing
  • Currently a volunteer in the Cameroon Biodiversity Conservation, Yaounde Birdlife International Affiliate in Cameroon

Mphoeng Ofithile 

Location: Botswana

  • Doctoral student at Botswana International University of Science and Technology
  • Research interests include seasonal impacts on large mammals and impacts of manmade management tools on ungulates
  • Worked for Elephants For Africa for six years

Peter Gayflor Mulbah

Location: Costa Rica

  • Research focuses on assessing the impacts of Eco- tourism in Payments for Ecosystem (PES) On Community Livelihood, specifically in Liberia
  • Interested in assessing how state owned eco-tourism PES programs differ from privately owned eco-tourism PES programs in the provision of tangible environmental, social and materials services to local communities
  • Hobbies include exercising, singing, reading, and dancing

Rosemary Gbegbaje

Location: Nigeria 

  • An A.P. Leventis Scholar and presently volunteering at the Biodiversity Preservation Centre, Abuja
  • Earned a masters’ degree in conservation biology from the A.P. Leventis Ornithological Research Institute (APLORI), University of JosResearch interests include ecological niche modelling, climate change, urban ecology and behavioural ecology
  • Hobbies include swimming and cooking 


Location: Madagascar

  • Founder, President, and Fundraiser for EDENA, an NGO whose main objective is to involve youth and women in the conservation and protection of our environment
  • Interests include the protection of reptiles and amphibians in Madagascar 
  • Hobbies include cooking and watching movies and documentaries


Meet the Mentors:

John P. Simaika

Location: South Africa

  • Currently working on developing predictive tools for modelling the future development impacts on hydrological ecosystem service provision of coastal ecosystems at Stellenbosch University
  • Asociate Editor of the African Journal of Aquatic Science
  • A volunteer member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Freshwater Conservation Specialist Group, as well as the IUCN’s Dragonfly Specialist Group
  • Author and co-author of 18 peer-reviewed publications in international journals, two in local journals, and four book chapters

Thomas Breuer

Location: Republic of the Congo

  • Currently is the Director of Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park and the principal investigator of the Mbeli Bai Study
  • Holds a PhD in Biology from University of Leipzig / Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Germany
  • Research interests include the behavioural ecology and conservation of large mammals, applied ecology and protected area management and conservation education

Yiwei Wang

Location: California, United States

  • Currently a post-doctoral scholar with DataONE at the University of New Mexico
  • Holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz 
  • Research interests revolve around human wildlife conflict, conservation biology, and environmental education
  • Hobbies include traveling, backpacking, and learning about new places

Devcharan Jathanna

Location: Bangalore, India

  • Senior Research Associate at the Centre for Wildlife Studies (CWS) in Bangalore, India
  • Currently carrying out his doctoral research on the ecology of small carnivores endemic to the Western Ghats
  • Research interests include carnivore biology, species’ responses to human impacts, estimation of population and demographic parameters using capture recapture modelling, distance sampling, occupancy estimation and modelling, and statistical modelling for other ecological data
  • Hobbies include guitar playing, music, reading, and trekking

Mark Hulme

Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

  • Currently a conservation scientist at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), the largest conservation charity in the UK
  • Research involves monitoring birds and mammals in and around Gola Rainforest National Park, Sierra Leone, determining the impact of improvements in cocoa yield on biodiversity, habitat connectivity and the impact on crop raiding of cocoa, mainly by primates
  • Hobbies include exploring the mountains, coast and lochs (lakes) of Scotland

Hannah Mumby 

Location: Sheffield, United Kingdom

  • Currently a Leverhulme Trust funded Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences at the University of Sheffield
  • Research interests include how huge mammals make evolutionary sense, and use this knowledge to inform conservation strategies
  • Hobbies include theatre and cooking

Jonathan Salerno

Location, California, United States 

  • Ph.D. student in the Graduate Group in Ecology at the University of California, Davis 
  • Research interests include how and why rural people in tropics make livelihood decisions, as well as how biodiversity conservation strategies affect these decisions and household well-being

Lindsey Swierk

Location: Pennsylvania, United States

  • Postdoctoral fellow at Penn State University 
  • Behavioral ecologist with a research focus on the mating systems and reproductive biology of reptiles and amphibians
  • Research interests include species conservation and sustainable natural resource use
  • Hobbies include hiking, drawing, and spending time with family 

Malcolm Burgess

Location: United Kingdom

  • Conservation Scientist employed by the RSPB based at the University of Exeter 
  • Involved in projects on declining Afro-Palaeartic migrant birds, breeding ecology, and demography and migratory behaviour
  • Specializes in woodland birds 




Isaac Busayo Oluwatayo

Location: South Africa

  • Senior lecturer at the University of Limpopo
  • Agricultural/development economist with teaching and research experience in welfare analysis, poverty, inequality, food security, climate change, gender, environmental, and social protection issues
  • Hobbies include gardening, jogging, and picnicking

Caitlin Wells

Location: California, United States

  • Evolutionary ecologist and Ph.D. candidate in the Ecology Graduate Group at the University of California, Davis
  • Research focuses on the behavior, genetics, and conservation of wild vertebrates
  • Hobbies include world literature, knitting, cooking, and yoga

Stephanie Schuttler

Location: North Carolina, United States

  • Postdoctoral fellow at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences with interests in behavior, molecular, and movement ecology, especially applied research that impacts conservation
  • Working with teachers under Students Discover to implement eMammal, a citizen science camera-trapping program, into the curriculum of middle school classrooms
  • Passionate about science communication and outreach

Toni Lyn Morelli

Location: Massachusetts, United States

  • Earned a Ph.D. from Stony Brook University studying the ecology and genetics of lemurs in Madagascar
  • Program Manager for the Department of Interior Northeast Climate Science Center
  • Studies the impacts of climate change on animal populations