Plenary Speakers

Luthando Dziba 
Dr Luthando Dziba is the Managing Executive: Conservation Services at SANParks. He also served as the third co-chair of the Africa Regional Assessment. He has contributed to knowledge generation in areas such as plant-herbivore ecology focusing on how plant secondary compounds influence biodiversity and ecosystem dynamics as well as impacts of climate change, land use change, woody plant encroachment and invasive alien plants on biodiversity and ecosystem services. I have a particular interest in mainstreaming ecosystem services science into development planning and policy.

Ara Monadjem 
Prof Ara Monadjem is a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Eswatini, and is affiliated with the Mammal Research Institute, University of Pretoria, and the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida. He is a world-renowned small mammal biologist, and have published extensively on small mammal ecology and systematics, including reference books on African bats and rodents. He is particularly passionate about training up African ecologists and conservationists.

Marcel Holyoak
Prof Marcel Holyoak is based in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy, University of California, Davis. His research program focuses on the importance of spatial dynamics linked to populations and communities. He addresses theories that are central to conservation and the maintenance of biodiversity. He currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief for Ecology Letters, one of the premier journals in the field.

Paul Beier 
Prof Paul Beier is the Regents’ Professor in Conservation Biology and Wildlife Ecology, Northern Arizona University. He has 30 years’ experience in science-based design of wildlife corridors, and is regarded as a global expert and pioneer in this field. Amongst others, he has worked on cougars and how habitat corridors maintain gene flow among mountain ranges in urban California. He was the President of the Society for Conservation Biology.

John Buckeridge
Prof John Buckeridge is Professor Emeritus in the Earth & Oceanic Systems Group at RMIT University, Melbourne. He is internationally recognized for his research into both the biogeography and evolution of barnacles and in the promotion of environmental stewardship through environmental ethics. He is President Emeritus of the International Society of Zoological Sciences, Past President of the International Union of Biological Sciences; a past member of the Executive Board of the International Council for Science (Paris) and a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Anthony Turton
Prof Anthony Turton is affiliated with the Centre for Environmental Management, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein. He is a well-respected authority on water-related studies and specializes in water resource management as a strategic issue, water as a business risk, and water and social stability. He is passionate about the conservation of water and is a prolific public speaker on the topic. He frequently serves as an expert advisor to government and industry.

Rauri Bowie 
Prof Rauri Bowie is a professor in the Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, and is also associated with the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town. He is a globally-recognized ornithologist and his research focuses on understanding spatial and evolutionary patterns that underpin bird species richness and diversity. He has published extensively in this field.

Colin Chapman
Prof Colin Chapman is based in the School of Environment, and the Department of Anthropology, McGill University, Montreal, where he holds a Canada Research Chair. He is regarded as one of the world’s leading experts in primate and infectious disease research, as well as the protection of primates. He has received many awards, including the recent Konrad Adenauer Research Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Christo Fabricius
Prof Christo Fabricius is the Global Lead Scientist for Wildlife Practice at the World Wildlife Fund, and is also affiliated with the Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth. He is a systems ecologist who specialises in the resilience of social-ecological systems at the interface of ecosystems and society. He is also strongly involved in science to inform policy and has received awards in recognition of his contributions to conservation and sustainability.

David Macdonald 
Prof David Macdonald is the Director of the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at the University of Oxford, which he founded in 1986. He holds a Senior Research Fellowship at Lady Margaret Hall with the Title of Distinction of Professor of Wildlife Conservation. He undertakes research on aspects of fundamental biology relevant to solving practical problems of wildlife conservation and environmental management, and thus to underpin policy formation and public debate of the many issues that surround the conservation of wildlife and its habitats.

Camille Parmesan 
Camille ParmesanProf Camille Parmesan is based in the School of Biological and Marine Sciences, University of Plymouth, where she holds the National Marine Aquarium Chair in Public Understanding of Marine Science and Human Health. She is a global leader in climate change and has published numerous scientific and popular papers on the topic. She has served as a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

Claire Spottiswoode
Claire SpottiswoodeProf Claire Spottiswoode is appointed jointly at the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town, and the University of Cambridge. Her research interests are in the evolution, ecology and conservation of bird species interactions, and she is internationally recognised for her work on the topic. More recently, she has begun working on mutually beneficial interactions between species in Mozambique’s Niassa National Reserve.

Nils Stenseth
Prof Nils Stenseth is currently affiliated with the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the University of Oslo. He has previously served as Chair of the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis, President of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, and as a member of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council. His research focus is in the field of evolutionary biology with a focus on vector-borne diseases, merging ecological and evolutionary thinking.

Hiroyuki Takeda
Prof Hiroyuki Takeda is based at the Graduate School of Science of the University of Tokyo and is the President of the Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists. His research focus is on various aspects of vertebrate development from early axis formation to late organogenesis and epigenetic regulation of developmental key genes using two model systems, zebrafish and medaka.

Fuwen Wei
Prof Fuwen Wei is a professor in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Biology at the Institute of Zoology of the Chinese Academy of Science. His research interest is on the assessment of endangered species in China including the panda species, with special focus on aspects related to evolution and demographics as well as investigating strategies for the survival of the species.