About ABC - Project Team

Dr Emma Stone - Founder/DIRECTOR

Emma stone

ABC and the umbrella charity Conservation Research Africa (www.conservationresearchafrica.org) were founded by Dr Emma Stone. Emma is a Senior Lecturer in Conservation Science at the University of the West of England, and Honorary Research Fellow at Cardiff University and the University of Bristol UK, and directs all our programmes. Emma has worked in Africa since 1998 and her research focus is applied conservation biology with a strong emphasis on evidence based conservation, in particular human-wildlife conflict management, mitigating anthropogenic impacts on the environment, and assessing patterns and drivers of diversity and abundance. Emma has been conducting bat research in Africa (particularly Zambia, Malawi and South Africa) since 1998 and conducted her PhD research in the Bat Ecology and Bioacoustics Lab at the University of Bristol, UK on the impact of development on bats with a focus on the ecological impacts of artificial lighting. Emma developed a novel field-based experimental approach which demonstrated the first evidence of negative impacts of high pressure sodium and LED street-lights on bats (Stone et al. 2009,Current Biology; Stone et al. 2012, Global Change Biology). Emma has secured over £1.5million in research grants since 2005 and published (464 citations, H-Index 7) in high impact journals including Current Biology (impact factor 10.45, Stone et al. 2009) and Global Change Biology (impact factor 6.9, Stone et al. 2012) and Proceedings of the Royal Society B (impact factor 6.3, Stone et al. 2015). Read more about Emma's research here.

Contact Emma: emma@conservationresearchafrica.org


Gareth Jones is Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Bristol, U.K. Gareth received his BSc (Hons) from the University of London before completing a PhD on the behavioural ecology of birds at the University of Stirling, moving to Bristol as Royal Society University Research Fellow. Gareth is world renowned for his research on bats and bioacoustics. RachelHe has led research on the discovery of a new, abundant species of European bat, the first mammal species to be described from Britain in recent years; and was involved in the discovery of 3 further cryptic species of bat. Other achievements of note include: driving research on how cryptic species contribute to bat biodiversity worldwide; elucidating unusual social organisation (matrilineal structure and intra-lineage polygyny) in bats; determining when echolocation is ineffective for bats, and elucidating how moths respond to echolocation calls of bats; pioneering methods for the acoustic identification of bats and the development of acoustic monitoring; research on potential adverse effects of street lighting on bats; using presence-only modelling to predict bat distributions and to predict responses under climate change scenarios; producing some of the first papers using molecular methods to identify insect prey eaten by bats and building capacity for  bat research in China and India, leading to research on genes involved in vocalization and hearing in echolocation. Gareth has supervised over 40 PhD students to completion, many of whom are academics in universities throughout the world, and is author of more than 270 peer-reviewed articles. He is now primarily interested in conservation biology, and works on a wide variety of taxa.

brennan peterson wood - programmes managerBrennan

Brennan became interested in pursuing a career in wildlife conservation after a semester study abroad program in Tanzania studying wildlife management and ecology. After graduating with his Bachelor’s degree from Colorado College, he returned to east Africa and worked for projects seeking to protect wildlife and mitigate human wildlife conflict through multifaceted approaches. He has previous experience conducting surveys of threatened and protected species for the U.S. Forest Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife and private wildlife consultants. Brennan previously led our research in Kasungu National Park, and has since come back in a senior role as Programmes Manager, responsible for overseeing all our research and conservation programmes.

Contact Brennan: programmes@conservationresearchafrica.org

 angelena efstathio - RESEARCH MANAGER


Angelena holds a BSc in Animal Conservation and Biodiversity (from University of Greenwich) and a MRes in Endangered Species and Recovery (from Nottingham Trent University). She carried out her BSc thesis on a mixed species troop of primates at ZSL London Zoo and her MRes thesis on white bellied free tailed bats in Lilongwe, with African Bat Conservation. She was awarded a research grant from Bat Conservation International to conduct her research on roost exclusions in Lilongwe to help inform conflict mitigation. Angelena is an experienced bat worker having been involved in many scientific research projects including radio tracking of several species in the UK.

After her first degree she took time out from education to gain experience which included working as a zookeper, a ranger, an ecologist and she also volunteered with several conservation groups. This enabled her gain a variety of experience from both the private and third sectors. She has been involved in conservation projects in both the UK and Africa and has sat on committees for several conservation groups including being Chair of Nottinghamshire Bat Group. In 2017 she was awarded the Nottinghamshire Roosevelt Memorial Travelling Scholarship through which she travelled across 11 states of the U.S.A (and Canada) over 11 weeks researching species re introduction and recovery programs and community engagement with wildlife. During her time in the USA she had an internship with Organization for Bat Conservation in Illinois working with the education team.

Contact Angelena: angelena@africanbatconservation.org

esther chikapa twalo - research assistant (trainee)esther

Esther started working for ABC five years ago when she moved to Lilongwe as a cleaner and cook so is our longest serving member of staff. During her time with ABC her affection for bats developed through working with the project, talking to research assistants and meeting volunteers. With the help of staff members, Esther started to become involved in the bat surveys and ABC work, learning on the job about conservation and science.

Esther has learnt how to handle and process bats but is also great at fixing mist nets and harp traps. She regularly goes out on roost visits and has a keen eye for finding bat roosts. Esther also enjoys the outreach work involved with roost work and is vital to the Teams human conflict mitigation efforts. She also enjoys visiting schools and children in the communities where she can share her experience with others and teach children about bats and their importance in ecosystems. She is passionate about empowering girls to involve themselves in the sciences. Esther is currently working with ABC  on fulfilling her dream to go back to school to finish her education.

peter chadza - education and outreach officer


Peter graduated from the University of Livingstiona (Laws Campus) with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Management. He also has a Diploma in Environmental Management from the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (NRC Campus). Prior to working for ABC, Peter did an internship for two months in 2018 at Chigumula Plantation Area for Blantyre Forest Department. During his time as an Assistant Plantation Manager, Peter was involved in educating farmers and local communities on tree planting and conservation, and building capacity so that local communities had the tools to better manage their natural resources. 

Peter also has experience working with sustainable farming techniques at Mfumba Farm, Blantyre, in 2017. This is why Peter is passionate about improving local knowledge regarding the importance of wildlife and natural resources conservation, because he believes that local communities are the custodians of the environment, which is in turn fundamental to their livelihood. Peter joined CRM in November 2019 and he’s enjoying conducting research with ABC team, as he is continuing his experience in education, outreach and building capacity, but also conducting applied research.

brooke segerberg - education and outreach volunteer


Brooke is an ecological engineer hailing from Colorado with a passion for conservation, development issues and visual media. While pursuing her BSc in engineering from the University of Colorado, she fell in love with the African continent after traveling to Botswana during a semester study abroad. She interned on a nature reserve and quickly developed an affinity for the African bush and wildlife. Since then, she has worked 2.5 years as the programme manager for an NGO in Rwanda building suspended pedestrian bridges in rural communities and later in Eswatini.

She has also spent a significant amount of time on the South Island of New Zealand where she carried out invasive species field work and created a short film about conservation efforts in Fiordland National Park. Currently, Brooke is part of a research team through Washington State University looking at grizzly bear use of army cutworm moths in Glacier National Park, Montana. She is thrilled to be joining the ABC team remotely as the Education and Outreach Volunteer, helping develop resources and tools to change people’s perceptions of bats in Malawi, reduce human bat conflict and recognise bats' ecological and economic importance.

amy eastwood - social media volunteer


Amy graduated from the University of Sussex with a BSc in zoology in 2019. After spending some time conducting bat surveys with the ABC team in Lilongwe and Vwaza Marsh in 2019, Amy has been keeping up to date with the team’s activities and research via social media whilst completing her studies. During her time in Malawi, Amy became particularly interested in ABC’s efforts to mitigate human wildlife conflict via education and has since realised that social media is an extremely powerful tool for this; she is excited to begin her role as social media volunteer and to contribute to spreading awareness of the importance of bats in our ecosystems.




Matt Town - RESEARCH associate /MRes student


Matt graduated with a BSc in Animal Conservation and Biodiversity in 2014 from the University of Greenwich. Matt has considerable experience in wildlife ecology and research in the UK and Africa, including Research Associate studying the behavioural ecology of Edible dormice to inform conflict mitigation and field coordinator at a Bush Camp in South Africa. Matt is very passionate about field research, has a great scientific brain and brings a lot of enthusiasm and experience to the ABC team. Matt has been our longest serving ABC staff member having joined us in 2015 and has developed a high level of expertise in African bats. Matt is currently pursuing his MRes research on human bat conflict in Malawi with ABC and Cardiff Unviersity. He has been awared a research grant from Bat Conservation International and his project is also supported by ABC through volunteer donations. Matt is a vital member of team.

Contact Matt: matt@africanbatconservation.org




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