1. How did you get to work on spotted hyenas/large carnivores?
    • To be honest, my focus and motivation has never been the species I work with, but rather scientific questions and management issues. It just so happens that spotted hyenas (and other large carnivores) are particularly well-suited to my research interests and I’ve been lucky enough to work with them my entire career. You can check my CV for a handy timeline that shows a full record of my journey to working with hyenas and other large carnivores.
  2. I am a high school/college/master’s student who wants to work with large carnivores. Do you have any advice?
    • I’m afraid this is hard to answer unless I know your academic record, financial situation, fieldwork experience, coding skills, network, and other pertinent information. Feel free to contact me if you want a more detailed reply, though I cannot guarantee a speedy answer. You can check my collaborator Alex Braczkowski’s website for some helpful guidance. Either way, I encourage students to focus more on scientific questions and management issues rather than the charisma and appeal behind working with particular taxa – it might sound romantic, but it’s hard and tedious!
  3. Can I interview you for an article/podcast/school project?
    • Possibly! But I should mention that I no longer do interviews for free. Get in touch if you have a fee in mind or want to negotiate one.
  4. Will you give a talk or seminar at my organization’s event/symposium?
    • It depends on a few things, including your ability and willingness to pay speaking fees. Feel free to get in touch.
  5. Will you review my paper/job application/CV/grant?
    • I can’t do your homework for you, but if you think I can provide helpful pointers on something you are applying for or a manuscript you are writing, do get in touch. At worst, I could point you to someone else who can help. If you are a non-native English speaker, I will definitely try to help you.
  6. Are you looking to supervise any students?
    • Being early in my own career, I cannot take on any students myself for the foreseeable future. However, you can feel free to get in touch with your research interests and I may be able to recommend some established scientists you can speak to. If you are an African national, please get in touch and maybe we can work something out. I’d be happy to work with you as a collaborator/consultant.
  7. You talk a lot about colonial/parachute science. Why?
    • Because it’s a huge issue and is a form of modern-day colonialism in much of sub-Saharan Africa and more broadly across the Global South. Too much scientific research is done that (i) does not involve, (ii) does not benefit, and (iii) does not interest local authorities and communities. Such exclusion and exploitation must stop. Here is a piece that eloquently explains the problem.

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