Tell us about your background.
I am born and bred in Zimbabwe where I went through my early education to first degree level before proceeding to postgraduate studies at the University of Kuopio and UEF Joensuu for doctorate. I am a nature enthusiast and have all my life volunteered for wildlife conservation and seek to influence the nexus of people and nature. I am now essentially a global citizen working across the world on these issues.
Which degree did you complete at UEF?
Master of Science and Doctorate
Which subjects did you study?
Applied Zoology; Environmental & Biological Sciences
Which department, school or institute did you study in?
Department of Applied Zoology for Master’s
Faculty of Science and Forestry, Joensuu, Department of Environmental and Biological Sciences for Doctorate
What made you apply for admission to our university, in the field of your choice?
I got a scholarship from FINNIDA for my master’s degree to study at Kuopio and subsequently pursued my doctoral studies in Joensuu as a build up to my master’s study and on encouragement and support by faculty in particular Emeritus Professor Ossi. V. Lindqvist and Dr Hannu Mölsä.
Is there a single best moment you remember from your time at UEF?
There are so many such moments, so picking one is mission impossible. As such a combo of my best moment includes the immersion in Finnish culture of sauna, ice fishing, drinking lots of coffee, learning how to skate and do cross country skiing, midnight summer nights, and seeing the Northern Lights in Lapland from Rovaniemi and Inari.
How has your career progressed since graduation?
I have continued to work in international wildlife conservation, and have now progressed to be in executive leadership for an international animal welfare and wildlife conservation organization, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, based in Washington DC, USA.
How have you taken advantage of what you learned at the university in your professional life?
My education exposed me to a pool of international global scientists and conservation practitioners that remain a great platform for my role as an executive leader in conservation science, climate change, human development and key UN convention agendas, where I am now a lead voice for these global matters.
What is the best thing about your professional life right now?
Being a global ambassador, executive leader for a better planet through advancing impactful animal welfare and wildlife conservation work that span more than 40 countries worldwide.
What is your motto in the world of work?
“All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure." - Mark Twain. This has been my journey and continues to be my driver to push the envelope and never hesitate to bring fresh thinking for bold action to make the world a better place.
Anything else you would like to add?
Let’s rally global citizens to do good for nature and climate for sustainability --- many are genuinely 'unaware' so we should all keep acting for change. A good way is to be part of global platforms like IUCN where there is a pool of experts sharing ideas to make things better. I am a member of IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) and the Connectivity Conservation Specialist Group (CCSG).