PhD student, School of Anthropology and Conservation, Kent University
Lydia is a conservation biologist with a particular interest in elephants. This interest has led her to study elephants in Nepal and Thailand, and now she is in the first year of her PhD looking at how land-use change in the Transmara District, Kenya, is driving human-elephant conflict and elephant movement. Lydia’s ambition is to make a practical and positive contribution to elephant conservation through research, applied conservation and education.
This talk tells the story of collecting data for a Masters degree project on human-elephant conflict in Bardia National Park, Nepal, to studying elephant cognition, leading volunteers and to working on an elephant education initiative in the Golden Triangle, Thailand. The talk describes the highs and lows of living in the field, the amazing wildlife, the unpredictable weather, the different personalities of the elephants studied, the politics and issues surrounding elephants in the wild and captivity, and the interesting cultures and rituals of the people who live alongside these magnificent creatures.