Meet the Speakers
Dr Medha Nayak
Head of Division, Human-Wildlife Conflict Mitigation Division, Wildlife Trust of India
Medha works for Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) where she manages human-wildlife conflict mitigation projects across different states. She is a PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences wherein she worked on understanding human-elephant interactions in Odisha, India. She is an alumnae of National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER) and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). She is proficient in qualitative data analysis and focuses on studying human dimensions of human-wildlife conflict. Beyond her routine, she enjoys writing stories for children, painting and travelling.
Head, Species Conservation Action Team, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Ana Nieto has programme, project management, and managerial skills acquired during her more than eighteen years of professional experience working for international non-for profit organisations. At IUCN, Ana leads the Species Conservation Action Team, being responsible for the overall management of the two IUCN species grant-making facilities, IUCN Save Our Species and the Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Programme. Previously, Ana worked at the IUCN Regional Office for Europe, ECNC-European Centre for Nature Conservation (the Netherlands), EUCC–The Coastal Union and did some consultancy work for the European Environment Agency,). Ana holds a Master Degree in Environmental Science/Environmental Management.
Human Wildlife Support Team Coordinator, Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation
Russell has been with the Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC) since 2012. He has more than 22 years of conservation experience, including 12 years with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism of Namibia and a further 12 years in tourism, including an eco-friendly operation fully owned by conservancies. Russell has extensive management experience and strong track record in community-based conservation and tourism. He is a human-wildlife conflict specialist and has consulted on the North West Human Lion Conflict Management Plan and the National Human-Wildlife Conflict Policy. His good leadership skills promote excellent community relationship and continuously mentors young talent. Russell is based at Wereldsend, IRDNC’s Environmental Education Centre and operates in the Kunene Region, home to the iconic desert adapted lions, elephants and rhino.
Human Carnivore Conflict Mitigation Officer, Zambian Carnivore Programme
Dennis joined the Zambian Carnivore Programme (ZCP) in 2019. ZCP conserves the large carnivores and the ecosystem they reside in through identifying their threats using science, taking science-based action, local leadership involvement and empowerment and promoting coexistence. Dennis was very instrumental in developing the first Human-Wildlife Conflict strategy being implemented in South Luangwa and some surrounding Game Management Areas (GMAs). He has worked hand in hand with management to pilot and develop various mitigation tools making a human carnivore conflict mitigation programme that is very effective and first of its kind in Zambia. Having lived with wildlife all his life, Dennis understands the complexities of balancing conservation goals and human wellbeing and he is committed to working with our partners to create an environment where both people and large carnivores thrive.