Research Associates

Werner Conradie

– M.Env.Sc  Environmental Science

He holds a Masters in Environmental Science (M.Env.Sc) and has 15 years of experience in southern and central African herpetofauna, with his main research interests focusing on the taxonomy, conservation, and ecology of amphibians and reptiles. He has published numerous principal and collaborative scientific papers, and has served on a number of conservation and scientific panels, including the Southern African Reptile and Amphibian Relisting Committees. Werner has undertaken research expeditions to various countries including Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. He is currently the Curator of Herpetology at the Port Elizabeth Museum (Bayworld), South Africa.

David Marneweck

– Postdoctoral Research

He Focuses on developing and implementing machine learning algorithm optimisation techniques for the SnapshotSafari-South Africa project’s camera trap dataset. He collaborates with the University of Minnesota’s Lion Center and is receiving training to develop, implement and troubleshoot machine learning Python scripts through the Zooniverse citizen science platform. He then implements the machine learning algorithms at the Centre for High-Performance Computing (CHPC) in South Africa to oversee the transfer of these critical skills back to the ecology sector in the country. Once the algorithms are implemented at the CHPC, David will work with relevant postgraduate students, tertiary institutions and reserve managers to publish high-quality ecology papers and ensure that relevant biodiversity information is disseminated back to the relevant stakeholders

Alex Braczkowski

– Research Associate (Ph.D)

Alex Braczkowski is a big cat biologist from Kwazulu-Natal, SA. He has researched lions in the Timbavati, leopards in the greater Knysna ecosystem and Zululand and the lesser-known caracal in the Cape. In 2014 he graduated from the University of Oxford with a Masters degree examining aspects surrounding the hunting of leopards in Africa. Since leaving Oxford, he worked for Steve Winter as a photographic assistant and second cameraman for National Geographic’s biggest ever magazine and television story on leopards and his magazine story on jaguars. He then went on to complete a PhD on African lions in Uganda writing up his dissertation at the University of Queensland in Australia. Alex is currently working with Dr Duan Biggs and Dr Jan Venter as a research assistant at the Resilient Conservation lab and Nelson Mandela University on illegal wildlife trade, human wildlife conflict and the estimation of large carnivore numbers

Lain Pardo

– Research Associate (Ph.D)

Lain E. Pardo is a Colombian Biologist with a Master in Conservation and Wildlife Management and PhD in Tropical Ecology. His work has focused on understanding species responses to anthropogenic disturbances to improve conservation planning, particularly for mammal species. He has experience in different survey methods, modeling of species occupancy and biodiversity measures, and has worked in countries such as Costa Rica, Colombia, Australia, and currently South Africa. As a postdoc, he is currently investigating the occupancy, habitat use and diversity of medium and large-sized mammals across South Africa, as well as supporting different aspects of the Snapshot Safari project.