DR. ANDREW STEIN — CLAWS Founder and Director
Andrew is an assistant professor of natural science at Landmark College and adjunct faculty to University of Massachusetts Amherst. He has over a decade of experience studying human- carnivore conflict—from African wild dogs and lions in Kenya and Botswana to leopards and hyenas in Namibia.
Andrew grew up fascinated by nature documentaries of exotic wildlife in far off destinations. A native of central Massachusetts, the opportunities to explore and contribute to wildlife conservation seemed unlikely until his study abroad trip to Kenya through the School for Field Studies. There he saw a confluence of his greater interests in culture, wildlife conservation and problem solving.
Motivated by a clear vision of purpose, he was driven to return to Africa to make a contribution to the wildlife he was passionate about and the people that faced the challenges of living with their livestock among Africa's great predators. Since his 2001 leopard study in South Africa, Andrew has become a leader in leopard conservation as he continued on for his PhD field study on Namibian farmlands and leopard feeding ecology in Botswana. In recent years he has been chosen to assist in national leopard surveys and lead an international team for the IUCN Red List to assess the global status of leopard. He has expanded his interests to explore non-lethal approaches to mitigate livestock conflict with lions in Northern Botswana and wolves on Montana ranchland.
Andrew has published a dozen scientific articles, organized field training course with the Smithsonian Institution and been featured in wildlife documentaries on National Geographic Wild and BBC Wildlife. He is also a member of both the IUCN Cat Specialist Group and Hyaena Specialist Group.
DR. EDWIN MUDONGO — Research Coordinator and Herder Training Program Manager, Pride in Our Prides
Dr. Edwin Mudongo was born in Francistown, eastern Botswana. He finished his Bachelors Degree at the Griffith University, Australia in Wildlife Biology and Environmental Science. After spending a few years getting practical experience with the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, and as an environmental consultant, he returned to school to study Natural Resources Management at the University of Botswana's Okavango Research Institute for his Master of Science. He finished a joint PhD on Rangeland Ecology and Management Under Climate Change through the University of Limpopo, South Africa and the University of Cologne, Germany. Dr. Mudongo has managed a number of projects and has particular expertise in rangeland restoration. He is our research coordinator in Botswana and manages the Herding Program. His unique mix of research, community work and government experience makes him the ideal person to lead Pride in Our Prides into the next phase.
DR. KEOIKANTSE SIANGA — Lion Alert Program Manager, Pride in Our Prides
Dr. Keoikantse Sianga is a rare find. He is from our partner village Eretsha and feels a strong commitment to help his fellow villagers coexist with wildlife. Sianga finished his Bachelors Degree at the Murdoch University studying Conservation Biology with a minor in Applied Statistics. He transitioned to a research position at the University of Botswana's Okavango Research Institute where he later completed his Master of Science in Natural Resource Management focusing on Herbivore Ecology. He continued for his PhD on the same track writing his dissertation on the ecology of buffalo and zebra. His expertise in computer mapping analysis (GIS), spatial statistics and his connections with our partner communities makes him the perfect person to lead our Lion Alert Program.
ERIC LEFLORE — Eric is a PhD candidate in the Department of Environmental Conservation at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) and is a Massachusetts native. After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Connecticut College in 2011, he started graduate school at UMass and received a Master’s degree from his current department for his work studying the distribution of coyote, red fox and gray fox in Massachusetts. Eric began field work for Pride in Our Prides in conjunction with a Fulbright Research Grant to Botswana in 2014. It’s been a dream of Eric’s since he was a child to study lions in Africa, however while he works on one of their main predators, Burchell’s zebra are his favorite species in the Delta.
MATHATA "PRO" TOMELETSO — Pro is a resident of Eretsha, one of our focal villages. He is the oldest of 7 children and has 4 children of his own. Pro holds an assistant guide’s license and a certificate in professional guiding. He is our local field assistant and his duties include translating between English and the many local languages, overseeing kraal building efforts and investigating livestock depredation events, along with countless other tasks. Pro’s favorite animal is the leopard because it is powerful but shy.