Thandiwe Mweetwa is a senior ecologist and community educator with the Zambian Carnivore Programme. Her work focuses on studying population dynamics and threats to survival of lions and other carnivores in eastern Zambia in order to protect the species and their habitat. As a supporter of community-based conservation, Ms. Mweetwa is dedicated to exploring effective ways of integrating local communities in wildlife conservation through environmental awareness programs, capacity building and citizen science initiatives. She is the manager of ZCP’s conservation education program, which is designed to gain community support for wildlife conservation, and to promote interest in conservation-based careers among local youths. In 2016, she started the Women in Wildlife Conservation Training Program aimed at providing opportunities for Zambian young women wishing to pursue careers in the wildlife sector. Ms. Mweetwa's work to protect big cats in Zambia through research, capacity building and conservation education has been featured in several BBC documentaries and National Geographic videos. Ms. Mweetwa is a National Geographic Big Cats Initiative grantee and a 2016 National Geographic Emerging Explorer. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Animal Biology from the University of British Columbia and a Master's Degree from the University of Arizona in Natural Resources Conservation.
Year of Birth: 1988
Hometown: Mfuwe, Zambia
Education: BSc. Applied Animal Biology, MSc. Natural Resources Conservation
Occupation: Wildlife Biologist, Conservation Educator
Expeditions: Fieldwork to conduct research on large carnivores in and around protected areas in eastern Zambia.
Favorite Place to Be: Anywhere in Zambia’s Luangwa Valley.
Accomplishments: I initiated a training program for Zambian young women interested in pursuing careers in nature conservation.
Favorite Items in the Field: Headlamp, a good pair of binoculars, a camera, and a GPS
Personal Heroes: People that have believed in me and supported me through the course of my life.
Hobbies: Game viewing, watching soccer, reading
Advice: Working in the conservation field requires patience, perseverance and adaptability. There are lots of obstacles and success can take awhile to achieve.