I’m an inter-disciplinary Conservation scientist interested in wildlife trade and use, its sustainability, governance and economics, including human behaviour, and pangolins and their conservation.
I joined ICCS in April 2018 as a Postdoctoral Researcher on the Oxford Martin School Programme on the Illegal Wildlife Trade project, ‘Exploring the effective use of celebrities in wildlife demand reduction: changing perceptions of pangolins in Vietnam’.
I completed my PhD, ‘Reforming international wildlife trade interventions in CITES’, at DICE, University of Kent, UK in 2014. I subsequently joined IUCN’s Global Species Programme where I led the organisation’s contribution to CITES and broader illegal wildlife trade work, prior to joining the University of Oxford. Since 2012, I have also served as Chair of the IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group.
My research interests include the use and trade of wildlife, its sustainability, governance and economics, including human behaviour, and pangolins and their conservation.
My current research is part of the Oxford Martin School Programme on the Illegal Wildlife Trade project, ‘Exploring the effective use of celebrities in wildlife demand reduction: changing perceptions of pangolins in Vietnam’. It involves understanding demand for, and consumption of pangolin products in Vietnam, principally the meat of the animals and their scales. This will inform the implementation of a celebrity associated demand reduction campaign for pangolins in order to evaluate the effectiveness of celebrities as a tool to change consumer behaviour. My research also involves examining the impact of pangolin farming on demand, current trade dynamics and populations in the wild under different policy scenarios through the development of bioeconomic models.
2018 – Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Oxford
2016 – 2018 Honorary Research Fellow, DICE, University of Kent
2014 – Member, IUCN Sustainable Use and Livelihoods (SULi) Specialist Group
2014 – 2018 Programme Officer, Sustainable Use and Trade, IUCN
2012 – Chair, IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group
2011 – 2012 Assistant Lecturer, DICE, University of Kent
2010 – 2014 Ph.D. Biodiversity Management, DICE, University of Kent
2009 – 2010 Ecologist, Thomson Ecology Ltd
2007 – 2008 M.Sc. Conservation Biology, Manchester Metropolitan University
2002 – 2006 B.A. (Hons) Business Studies, Sheffield Hallam University
My research is funded by a National Geographic Society grant.
The Oxford Martin Programme on The Illegal Wildlife Trade
Durrell Trust for Conservation Biology Prize (2017), for most outstanding Research Postgraduate Student (University of Kent)
Mambeya, MM., Baker, F., Momboua, BR., Pambo, AFK., Hega, M., Okouyi, VJO., Onanga, M., Challender, DWS., Ingram, DJ., Hongyan, W., Abernethy, K. (2018). The Emergence of a Commercial trade in Pangolins from Gabon. Journal of African Ecology (1) 1-9.
Biggs, D., Cooney, R., Roe, D., Dublin, H., Allan, JR., Challender, DWS., Skinner, D. (2017). Developing a theory of change for a community-based response to illegal wildlife trade. Conservation Biology 31 (1) 5-12.
Cooney, R., Roe, D., Dublin, H., Phelps, J., Wilkie, D., Keane, A., Travers, H., Skinner, D., Challender, DWS., Allan, JR., Biggs, D. (2017). From poachers to protectors: engaging local communities in solutions to illegal wildlife trade. Conservation Letters 10 (3) 367-374.
Shairp, R., Veríssimo, D., Fraser, I., Challender, DWS., MacMillan, DC. (2016). Understanding urban demand for wild meat in Viet Nam: implications for conservation actions. PLOS ONE, 1-14.
Challender, DWS., Harrop, SR., MacMillan, DC. (2015). Understanding markets to conserve trade threatened species in CITES. Biological Conservation 187, 249-259.
Mohapatra, R.K., Panda, S., Acharjyo, L.N., Nair, M.V., Challender, DWS. (2015). A note on the illegal trade and use of pangolin body parts in India. TRAFFIC Bulletin 27 (1) 33-40.
Challender, DWS., Harrop, SR. and MacMillan, DC. (2015). Towards informed and multi-faceted wildlife trade interventions. Global Ecology and Conservation (3) 129-148.
Challender, DWS., Wu, SB., Nijman, V., MacMillan, DC. (2014). Changing behaviour to tackle the wildlife trade. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, Vol. 12: 203.
Challender, DWS., MacMillan, DC. (2014). Transforming wildlife trade interventions: reply to Phelps et al. Conservation Letters 7 (5), 497-498.
Challender, DWS., MacMillan, DC. (2014). Poaching is more than an enforcement problem. Conservation Letters 7 (5), 484-494.
Challender, DWS., Hywood, L. (2012). African pangolins under increased pressure from poaching and intercontinental trade. TRAFFIC Bulletin Vol. 24 (3), 53-55.
Challender, DWS. (2011). Asian Pangolins: increasing affluence driving hunting pressure. TRAFFIC Bulletin Vol. 23, No. 3, p.92-93.