Jasmin Willis

jasmin.willis@ox.ac.uk
jasminwillis_1

Background

 

After graduating from the University of York with a first class degree in Environmental Geography, I worked in sales and marketing based roles within the environment/sustainability industry. However, after several years, I decided to pursue what I was really passionate about – conservation, specifically the interactions between humans and the environment. I returned to university and completed a Masters in Environmental Economics and Environmental Management.

 

After graduating with a Distinction, I worked in Sri Lanka for a local NGO that focused on human-elephant conflict mitigation and Asian elephant ecology. I primarily assisted alternative livelihood projects and community-based conservation measures; however, I also supported the lead ecologist with a research project assessing the impact of human activity on elephant behaviour in the area.

I returned to the UK to work as the Research Intern for the IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group, based in London. During this role, I edited the IUCN Red List Assessments for pangolins, supplementing content with recent research and ensuring adherence to IUCN standards, and I drafted a document advising first responders on caring for live pangolins confiscated from illegal trade using relevant literature and coordinated input from over 70 stakeholders in pangolin rescue and rehabilitation.

 

During both positions, my interest in illegal wildlife trade and community-based conservation grew, and I was determined to pursue these research interests. Since finishing my internship, I have worked as a research consultant, working on projects related to wildmeat trade in Central Africa, and the impact of hunting on terrestrial migratory species in Europe.

 

I am interested in the interactions between humans and wildlife, primarily consumption and use of wildlife. I am currently focused on projects that promote sustainable use of natural resources, for example how unsustainable and commercial wildmeat trade and consumption can be managed without compromising livelihoods. However, I am also interested in identifying the economic, social and cultural drivers of wildlife consumption and use, and in supporting measures to sustainably manage resources that balance wildlife protection with human well-being. Additionally, I would like to gain more experience in behaviour change projects, such as social marketing campaigns.

 

I am currently supporting the WILDMEAT project, a partnership between the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the University of Stirling and the Wildlife Conservation Society, to create a database of wildmeat interventions in Central Africa. The database will be available through the WILDMEAT website as an online resource and will present researchers and practitioners working on wildmeat interventions with a suite of previous and ongoing projects on which to build upon.

Additionally, through CIFOR, I am part of a small team researching the impact of hunting on terrestrial migratory species for the Convention on Migratory Species. This research looks at whether species listed on CMS Appendices I and II are targeted for wildmeat trade and other hunting purposes and provides an analysis of hunting regulations for selection of countries from each region to determine if these CMS species are protected in each country.

Finally, I am researching diversity in conservation academia as part of a diverse team of researchers based worldwide. This research analyses the demographics of authors published in key conservation journals in 2020 and 2010 to assess diversity among conservation researchers and how this has changed in the last decade.

 

 

Education:

2016-2017 MSc Environmental Economics and Environmental Management, University of York

2010-2013 BSc Environmental Geography, University of York

 

Professional experience:

2019-2020 Research Intern, IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group, London, UK

2018-2019 Research Assistant, Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society, Sri Lanka

2015-2016 Sales and Marketing Assistant, Carbon Intelligence, London, UK

2015 Executive Assistant, Natural Capital Coalition, London, UK

 

Jasmin Willis