Our International Team
David Brown, MS, is a biologist and conservationist. As a WNI Education Associate, David helps develop environmental education projects to create sustained and meaningful conservation awareness of giraffes, elephants, and other species. His science and nature writing has appeared in Mongabay.com, National Geographic Kids, Highlights Magazine, and in the interpretive programs of several zoos, aquariums, and nature centers. As a biologist he studied giraffe speciation and its causes across Africa using population genetics and cockatoo evolution using molecular systematics. He has studied the ecology of Amazon parrots in Guatemala, and helped conduct botanical surveys and other biological assessments across Southern California.
Meshak Daudi, Philip Ferdinand, and James Madeli have been conducting Wild Nature Institute's seasonal photographic capture-recapture surveys for giraffes in the Tarangire-Manyara study area since November 2018. The all-Tanzanian crew refer to themselves as "Team Alpha." Meshak has been driving for researchers throughout Tanzania for more than a decade. Philip and James are both 2017 graduates in Wildlife Science and Conservation from the University of Dar es Salaam.
Matana Levi is pursuing his Master's degree in Biodiversity Conservation and Ecosystem Management at the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology. Matana is from the Sengerema-Mwanza region of Tanzania, and has worked as a research assistant on studies of ashy red colobus monkeys in western Tanzania and birds in the Amani Nature Reserve. He received his B.Sc. degree in Wildlife Science and Conservation in 2015 from the University of Dar es Salaam. For his Master's project he is studying the foraging ecology of giraffes in the Tarangire-Manyara Ecosystem in partnership with the Wild Nature Institute.
Lise Levy worked for 32 years as a high school biology teacher and 7th grade environmental science teacher in the United States. Her passion is connecting life science concepts with everyday circumstances to help make science more relatable to students. Lise earned numerous awards for her teaching including Outstanding Biology Teacher in 1994 from the National Association of Biology Teachers; All-Star Educator in 1997 from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette with The University of Pittsburgh; Tandy Technology Scholars Outstanding Teacher Award in 1998 from the Tandy Corporation with Texas Christian University; and Outstanding Conservation Teacher in 1999 from the Washington County Conservation District. Lise is WNI’s Education Consultant, and she develops lesson plans for primary and secondary schools and coordinates teacher training and distribution of environmental education materials in schools, community centers, and orphanages in Tanzania.
Carmen Mauk is a board member of the Wild Nature Institute and a communications specialist. She studied organizational transformation and has led large non-profit organizations working for positive social change. She is coordinating our public relations efforts, especially our Celebrating Africa's Giants environmental education campaign.
Kin Morandi is a Master's student in animal behavior in the University of Zürich's Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies. She is using photographs of giraffe spot patterns to investigate potential functions of spots and the influence of spot patterns on social behavior. This project is part of Wild Nature Institute's "Seeing Spots" project in partnership with Penn State University and the University of Zürich. Kin is from the Ticino region of Switzerland and received her undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Zürich.
Megan Strauss, PhD, is an ecologist and conservationist with a background in animal behavior and wildlife population biology. She has studied the social behavior of captive chimpanzees, assisted a prairie dog conservation program, and completed a PhD on factors limiting giraffe population growth in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Megan is a WNI Research Associate, contributing to articles on giraffe demography and conservation. Also a WNI Education Associate, Megan has created and illustrated Swahili-language activity books that engage young Tanzanian students with their local flora and fauna, and is developing a Guide to Careers in the Environmental Industry in Tanzania. She also provides graphic design support for WNI’s environmental education program.