I strongly believe conservation and education come hand in hand. By educating people from a young age, they have a greater awareness and respect for the natural world around them.
Whilst studying towards my doctorate degree, I teach part-time at University College London and worked as a Museum Engager in the Grant Museum of Zoology, UCL Art Museum, and the Petrie Museum. I also regularly partake in outreach events at UCL, ZSL and with other organisations.
In my spare time, I write children's stories about primate-based conservation issues. They're used as local education tools in countries where the star of the book is found. All funds raised from the books go back into local conservation and education efforts.
the little gibbon who lost his song
Inspired by the devastating forest fires that occur in Indonesia every year, I wrote "The little gibbon who lost his song" for the Borneo Nature Foundation.
Endorsed by Sir David Attenborough, this bilingual (English and Indonesian) book is based on scientific research suggesting that gibbons do not sing (a very important social behaviour) in smokey conditions. The aim of the book is to illustrate the incredible biodiversity found in Bornean peat-swamp forests, highlight the devastation that forest fires can cause, and ultimately encourage important local forest conservation practices.
You can get your hands on a book here. All proceeds from the book go back into local conservation and education efforts in Kalimantan, Indonesia.
"I do hope you will support [this initiative]."
(Sir David Attenborough)
Cozy the Forest gardener
Globally, there are an increasing number of wild animals that are being kept as pets. More often than not, primates are seen as "cute" and "cuddly" and therefore a perfect addition to your family. Primates should not be kept as pets however, and can pose a danger to themselves and humans around them.
"Cozy the Forest Gardener" is a book about a real-life case study who I worked with at the Jane Goodall Institute in South Africa. Cozy the chimpanzee currently resides in the sanctuary. He was rescued from the pet trade and due to brain damage can never be rehabilitated and released back into the wild. This book aims to raise awareness about the primate pet trade in Africa, highlight the importance of chimpanzees in seed dispersal and forest growth, and encourage further collaboration between the Roots and Shoots education programme and the chimpanzee sanctuary.
Written by myself and Jacqui Hooper, illustrated by the incredible Lena Nayashkova, and with a foreword from Jane Goodall herself, the book is currently seeking the right publisher.