MEET THE SCIENTISTS
Dr Angelo Pernetta
Dr Pernetta is a conservation ecologist currently based at the University of Brighton, as the Deputy Head of the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Science. He has a particular research interests in the consequences of anthropogenic impacts on animal populations and communities. Dr Pernetta’s research seeks to understand and ultimately mitigate, the impacts of habitat alteration and overexploitation for species of conservation concern. Historically his focus has been on reptiles and amphibians, this has expanded through collaborative efforts. Dr Pernetta is currently a supervisor for an onsite PhD and has been supervisor for previous PhD projects on site, as well as being a PI in the Earthwatch Project.
Dr Maureen Berg
Dr Berg is a plant ecologist, based at the University of Brighton as a Principle Lecturer, with specific interests in plant-plant and plant-animal interactions at the community and population level. Her research focuses on determining the key factors involved in these relationships and assessing how resilient these links are in changing environmental conditions. Dr Berg is currently a supervisor on an onsite PhD, and is a PI in the ongoing Earthwatch Project.
Dr Rachel White
Dr White is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Brighton, and her main research focuses encompass avian ecology & conservation science, urban ecology, human-nature interactions, citizen science, and patterns & drivers of extinction risk. Her research aims to better understand the impacts of both threatening processes and conservation actions on wildlife and people. Dr White is a PI on the ongoing Earthwatch project, and is a supervisor for a current PhD on site.
Dr Samual Penny
Dr Penny is a conservation ecologist based at the University of Brighton as a Lecturer, with particular research interests in behavioural ecology, conservation physiology and bioacoustics. Dr Penny completed his PhD at Mankwe Wildlife Reserve in 2019 and is a PI on the Earthwatch project.
Prof. Stephen Willis
Prof Willis is based at the University of Durham, and most of his recent research is tied to the role of climate and habitat in determining species distributions with as particular focus on conservation biology. A key focus for much of his research examines the effects of environmental change, particularly global climate change, on ecosystems and the mechanisms by which environmental change acts upon species. Prof. Willis has been bringing students to Mankwe since 2003 and has assisted in two PhD’s and multiple masters on site.
Prof Adam Hart
Prof. Hart is a Lecturer at the University of Gloucestershire, and carry’s out research on entomology, ecology and citizen science. As a Professor of Science Communication he is regularly a broadcaster and author of popular science articles. Presenting documentaries for BBC Radio 4, BBC4 and BBC2, as well as the weekly BBC radio programme Science in Action. Professor Hart has conducted numerous studies on the site, looking at vegetation, thermal imaging and student impact assessments on field courses. He has been bringing students to the site with the University of Gloucestershire since 2013 and is currently a supervisor for an onsite masters student.
Prof. Anne Goodenough
Prof. Goodenough is a Professor of Applied Ecology with broad teaching and research interests spanning from nesting ecology of birds to ecological impact assessment, mammal conservation and the role of citizen sciences in studying biology and ecology. Her specific research focus is on ecological surveying, conservation ecology and avian biology. Prof. Goodenough has been bringing students to Mankwe since 2013 and currently has a Masters student based onsite.
Dr Richard Yarnell
Dr Yarnell completed his University of Brighton PhD entitled “The effects of game ranch management on small mammal communities in a bushveld area of South Africa” at Mankwe Wildlife Reserve between 2002 and 2005. He now works as an associate professor at Nottingham Trent University, and continues to conduct research at Mankwe on carnivore ecology. He is the supervisor of two PhD students who have worked at Mankwe and he brings students from the Wildlife Conservation courses to Mankwe each year for a field trip.
Prof. Dawn Scott
Prof. Scott is a mammalian biologist with an interest in applied conservation biology. Her principle areas of research are focused on the interactions between humans and wildlife, such as, the consequences of anthropogenic change of the environment on mammalian communities, genetics, biodiversity and their ecology. She is also passionate about science communication and citizen science based research approaches. Her key interests on site are investigating topics such as the impact of land management on species biodiversity and behaviour, carnivore and scavenger species interactions and human wildlife interactions. Prof. Scott has been a lead Primary Investigator on the Earthwatch project since its beginnings in 2004, and now works as Head of Life Sciences at Keel University.