Dr Emma Stone
Director & Founder
CRM and the umbrella charity Conservation Research Africa were founded by Dr Emma Stone. Emma is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) at the University of Bath (UK) , where she leads the Bat Conservation Research Lab and a diverse programme of applied conservation research. Emma is also a member of the IUCN hyaena specialist committee, and IUCN bat specialist committee contributing to species red list assessments for African bats. Emma directs all our programmes, and has worked in Africa since 1998. Emma's research focus is applied conservation biology with a strong emphasis on evidence based conservation, in particular human-wildlife conflict management, and mitigating the impacts of global environmental change.
Emma was a leader in some of the first experimental studies on the impact of light pollution of wildlife. Emma has published important work on human-wildlife conflict including studies on managing bats in historic buildings – work that has influenced government policy on licensing protocols for endangered species. She has also made important contributions to the limited role of mitigation in conservation and she was invited to write the first review of the effects of lighting on bats. Emma has secured over £2.8 million in funding since 2005 (1550 citations, H-Index 16).
Rohan is a wildlife ecologist specialized in spatial ecology and GIS. He joined CRM in 2022 to manage its programs and research activities. After completing his bachelor's degree in law, he found himself working as a writer and volunteer in wildlife reserves and animal rescue centers around Ecuador and Colombia, discovering his passion for conservation. After graduating with a master's degree in Forest and Nature Conservation in Wageningen University, Rohan's career in conservation formally began.
As a graduate student, he estimated densities and studied spatial interactions of brown hyaena and leopard in Botswana, which was published in the Journal of Zoology. Before joining us, he worked as a GIS field officer at Rewilding Europe and was delegated to the European bison reintroduction project in the Southern Carpathians of Romania. Soon after, he made his way to Malawi to pursue his dream of studying African carnivores.
Operations & Outreach Manager
Conservation Research Africa welcomes Brian Kachisa for the Operations and Outreach Manager role in Malawi. Brian has a strong interest and extensive experience in project management, coordination, research and outreach.
He comes from a small farming village in Mulanje District, Malawi. Like many smallholders in his village and across the country, their livelihoods are affected by the impact of climate change, diminishing landholding sizes, poorly developed institutions and limited infrastructure development.
Brian envisions a future where rural people will meet their needs in a sustainable manner while protecting the environment. In particular, he is interested in spearheading the mitigation of human wildlife conflict and fostering co-existence in both rural and urban settings.
He brings forth fifteen years wealth of work experience implementing rural development and sustainable livelihoods programmes. His experience and passion matches perfectly well with the Operations and Outreach Manager role.
Eline van Gilst
Eline holds a Bsc in Biology from Utrecht University. During her Bachelors she specialised in Animal Behaviour, Ecology and Nature Management, and Marine Sciences. For her final thesis she spent three months in Zimbabwe to study lion behaviour. Her fieldwork consisted of walking vegetation transects and doing vegetation mapping, as well as spending many hours from dawn to dusk observing lions. The aim of this study was to find out whether lions raised in captivity would be able to finetune their hunting skills regarding vegetation use (ambush skills) to ensure their post-release survival in the wild. In the end this study contributed to an advisory report on factors that can positively influence lion reintroduction success.
After graduating from her BSc, Eline spent three months in Seychelles, where she worked as a helper on Cousin Island Special Reserve during the turtle season. Previously, she has worked on Cousin Island as a volunteer and has experience working with turtles in Costa Rica. In addition to this Eline has been a volunteer at WWF since 2019. Her activities for this NGO include running social media, consulting organisations on sustainability and organising (national) events.
Pauline discovered her passion for wildlife research and conservation after volunteering in South Africa in 2016. She quit law school to pursue a bachelor’s degree in agricultural science and animal technicity in Belgium.
Since then, she accumulated numerous field work experiences in various environments. From the steppes of Mongolia where she monitored reintroduced Przewalski’s horses,
to the Aegean Sea where she did her thesis on bottlenose dolphins and to Belgium where she joined a bat research group, Pauline has found her way back to Africa as a research assistant at the Dwarf Mongoose Project in South Africa. She is now in Malawi to accomplish her dream to work with spotted hyaenas.
Outreach Officer & Women in STEM Ambassador
Esther started working for CRA five years ago when she moved to Lilongwe as a cleaner and cook, and so is our longest serving member of staff. During her time with CRA her affection for bats & carnivores developed through working with the project, talking to research assistants and meeting volunteers. With the help of staff members, Esther started to become involved in the bat surveys with our sister organisation ABC, learning on the job about conservation and science.
Esther also enjoys the outreach work and is vital to our human conflict mitigation efforts. She also enjoys visiting schools and children in the communities where she can share her experience with others and teach children about carnivores and their importance in ecosystems. She is passionate about empowering girls to involve themselves in Science. Esther is currently working with CRA on fulfilling her dream to go back to school to finish her education.