Board of Directors
Science Advisory Board
Richard Estes, Ph.D., Cornell University (Vertebrate Zoology). Behavioral zoologist and ecologist. A well-known authority on the behavioral ecology of African mammals. An Associate of the Harvard Museum of Natural History and Research Associate of the Smithsonian Conservation and Research Center, he is also a member and former chairman of the World Conservation Union’s Antelope Specialists’ Group. Author of The Safari Companion ; The Behavioral Guide to African Mammals ; and co-author of The National Audubon Society Field Guide to African Wildlife.
Visit Dr. Estes’ Website at www.natureofafrica.com
New York Natural History Museum
Dr. Roland Kays is the Curator of Mammals at the New York State Museum where his research addresses a broad array of behavioral, ecological, and evolutionary questions with mammals, primarily carnivores. In New York he is studying the effects of human disturbance and habitat fragmentation on the distribution of carnivores at a fine scale in the suburban Albany Pine Bush Preserve, and at larger scales across the Adirondacks. In Kenya he collaborates in studies of lion-human conflict and the evolution of manelessness in the Tsavo area. In Panama Kays is collaborating to develop an Automated Radio Telemetry System and use it to track animal movement and survival on Barro Colorado Island. Post Doc, The Field Museum, Chicago – with Dr. Bruce Patterson (1999); Ph.D., Univ.Tennessee, Dept. Ecology & Evolutionary Biology (1999) B.S., Cornell University, Ecology & Systematics – (1993) Kays is coauthor of Mammals of North America, with Don Wilson (Princeton University Press Field Guides).
Dr. Carole Tomlinson, Ph.D., Harvard University (Department of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology, under Professor A. W. Crompton), in functional vertebrate morphology); MSc, National Science Foundation Fellow (Systematics & Ecology with an emphasis in mammalogy with E. O. Wiley), and B.Sc at the University of Kansas. Carole has taught at many community colleges, state universities, and at Ivy League colleges across the United States. She was a graduate teaching fellow in History of Life with Stephen Jay Gould at Harvard University and is now a faculty member and acting Dean of Science at Haskell Indian Nations University, Lawrence, Kansas in the Department of Natural Sciences. Tina and Carole will be teaming up to teach field courses in Kenya and will be using high-speed videography equipment to analyze lion locomotion and novel GIS applications.
USFWS National Fish and Wildlife Forensic Laboratory
Dr. Mary Burnham Curtis, (Ph.D. University of Michigan, Genetics) Senior Forensic Scientist at the United States Fish and Wildlife Service National Fish and Wildlife Forensic Laboratory in Ashland, Oregon works on issues related to bushmeat trade, poaching, and other illegal domestic and international wildlife trade issues. This is the only crime lab in the world dedicated entirely to wildlife. It serves both the national and international communities.
The Genetics section is primarily interested in methods of identifying species/subspecies (particularly of endangered species that may occur in commercial and black market trade), and in methods of assigning individuals to geographic populations and/or matching individuals to crime scenes/crafted items/meat and other products. She has worked on wild populations of lions in connection with several recent cases in which wild game animals (lions, tigers, cougar) were being slaughtered and sold for meat and is examining the difference between domestic/captive bred population genetics and population genetics in the wild. Their unit will work on forensic identification questions with the Lion Conservation Fund in Kenya. Tina Ramme and Mary Curtis worked together on a collaborative team of scientists from the U.S. and the Russian Academy of Science on a the Great Lakes of the World project and co-authored papers together on their research with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Biological Divisions Genetics Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Michigan where Mary was Senior Geneticist.
Dipa manages the biological research field station in Samburu, Kenya and coordinates general management responsibilities at the Centre for Lion Conservation and Research. He works as a field assistant on census and surveys of lions in Tsavo and Samburu ecoregions, assisting with technology, equipment, collecting samples, and scouting for lions. He previously worked at Taita Discovery Center near Tsavo National Park and assisted in projects studying the ecology, behavior, and physiology of banded mongoose and elephants.
Dan Letoye (Kenyatta University, Msc) is a conservation and wildlife biologist who also holds degrees in geography and education. Born and raised in Samburu, Dan has served as the Conservation Education Coordinator and Community Manager for the Westgate Community Conservancy. Here, he established and implemented conservation education programs within the Samburu community, did fundraising and grantwriting, developed a Conservation Ecotourism program, and implement and coordinated conservation programs throughout Samburu District in Ngutuk Ongiron group Ranch, adjacent Samburu National Reserve, neighboring community conservancies and other stakeholders of the same goals in collaboration with Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Northern Rangelands Trust, Tusk Trust, Save the Elephants, and numerous other programs. Dan has a special interest in furthering education capabilities using global advancing technology particularly in the field of conservation. Dan works as Community Programs Coordinator for the Centre for Lion Conservation and Research in Kenya.
Esterina Lelukai is a field research assistant and community conservation education program coordinator and educator. Esterina has a degree in education and science. She has had a life-long interest in wildlife and biology and is pursuing her graduate studies with the assistance of scholarships from the Centre for Lion Conservation and Research in Kenya.
Steve Machan is a habitat specialist in the Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture. He worked with UNESCO’s Integrated Project in Arid Lands (IPAL) research team in South-western Marsabit, where he has been active in Range Ecology research programs for the identification and classification of ASAL range plants. He recieved his degree in Agriculture at Egerton University and will soon complete his Master of Environmental Planning and Management (MEPM) degree at Kenyatta University. His thesis involved an Evaluation of the Grazing Systems and Implications of the Emerging Community Conservancies in Samburu District, Kenya. Steve has also worked in coordination with the Princeton University Grevy Zebra Project in habitat analysis, census and survey, and identification of individual zebra, worked in elephant conservation with Save the Elephants to census, id, and collar elephants in in Samburu National Park and neighboring group ranches. Steve was elected secretary general of the Ngutuk Ongiron Group Ranch. Some of Steve’s publications include “A history of intervention in livestock management in Marsabit District” and “Conflict in Northern Kenya” for the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Germany. Steve strives to work for better range rehabilitation strategies through collaboration and community participatory approaches for Sustainable Habitat Management that can accommodate an integrated livestock and wildlife ecosystems.
Tina and Steve are partnering to examine the impacts of bush encroachment on lion populations and other predators, as well as its relationship to lion/predator-livestock conflict. They are also developing habitat restoration projects across Samburu District in collaboration with Northern Rangelands Trust, Kalama Community Wildlife Conservancy, West Gate Community Conservancy,and Namunyak Wildlife Conservation Trust.
Lolkilekui Lepurdati works as Head Scout Leader, coordinating and managing Samburu moran warrior wildlife scout program. He collects reports, trains staff on equipment use, such as GPS, and assists communities as Coordinator of Wildlife Livestock Conflict Mitigation Program. Lolkilekui Lepurdati was born and raised in Samburu District and is a member of the Namanyak Wildlife Trust Canservancy and trustee for the Centre for Lion Conservation and Research in Kenya.
The Centre for Lion Conservation and Research in Kenya is a community-based conservation initiative dedicated to protecting wildlife and serving people who live with wildlife.