Hilde Vanleeuwe
Project Director
Hilde Vanleeuwe is fluent in Dutch, French and English. She started in 1992 in Uganda, habituating chimpanzees for research students. She spent 3 years in Congo, exploring remote places by following elephant trails and published two papers in AJE on the subject. In 1998 she completed a Masters degree in Gembloux in Belgium and assisted Dr Ian Douglas-Hamilton in Kenya with elephant GPS radio collar testing, placing, data recuperation and mapping. In 1999 she launched a 5-year elephant movement study on Mt Kenya supported by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and participated in most aerial large mammal surveys and elephant collaring events. She was also member of an advisory committee for Mt Kenya conservation. The Mt Kenya study developed into a PhD in biodiversity management at DICE in the UK, with focus on elephant movements, including advanced GIS movement predictive modelling based on line-transect data. She completed her PhD in 2004 and published several reports, a few papers in Pachyderm and one in AJE. By mid 2004 she started working as a National Park management director for WCS in the coastal region of Congo, where she also gained experience in marine and coastal management. In between, she launched and coordinated a large mammal survey in a very large abandoned area in SE DRC in 2008. Hilde feels at home in quiet remote field sites where she uses her applied research skills for PA management. These skills include satellite image analysis, fisheries surveys, large mammal remote sensing, ground and aerial surveys, surveillance planning and tracking, development and coordinating of outreach activities. Her main interest lies in longer-term management of marine/ terrestrial PA sites with challenges, but she also enjoys short-term interruption allowing to apply her research skills to help (re)validate abandoned wildlife habitats and potential wildlife corridors between wildlife habitats.
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