Founder / Conservation Scientist
Rachael is a conservation scientist who is passionate about contributing to positive and inclusive conservation action, in an increasingly changing world. Rachael grew up in Zambia and South Africa before moving to the UK in her twenties. While her love of nature was sparked by growing up in southern Africa she got hooked on bats in the UK, on a field trip to see a horseshoe bat roost in Pembrokeshire with Professor Gareth Jones during her zoology degree at the University of Bristol.
Rachael completed her PhD at the University of Stirling in 2015, titled: ‘Assessing the distribution of bats in southern Africa to highlight conservation priorities’. Her PhD was supervised by Professor Kirsty Park, co-supervised by Professor Gareth Jones and Dr Hugo Rebelo in collaboration with Professors Ara Monadjem and Peter Taylor, Drs Woody Cotterill and Corrie Schoeman, and Mr Marthin Kasaona. Her fieldwork has taken her on many exciting bat adventures and she has been lucky enough to visit some remote and beautiful areas of South Africa, Namibia and Botswana.
Rachael is currently working on the Species on the Edge Project in Scotland, her time is split equally between the Bat Conservation Trust and RSPB Scotland, working on the beautiful Orkney archipelago and Skye. Before that Rachael was living in Malawi for four years, with her partner Keith and two cheeky Scottish rescue dogs (Blaise and Soma). Rachael volunteers part-time as the Principal Officer for Bats without Borders leading their work on applied research, capacity strengthening, engagement and advocacy. She hopes with more fundraising Bats without Borders can increase our impact to strengthen ecology capacity in southern Africa and our conservation activities.