Choolwe Mulenga

Choolwe grew up in the central part of Zambia, where her father worked as Senior Agriculture Officer at a farmers’ training centre and her mother was a teacher. While growing up she wanted to be a medical doctor because she was good at science. At the same time, she also wanted to travel the world and experience different cultures and beliefs. Choolwe loved watching her dad work, and seeing how he enjoyed working with livestock sparked an interest in and love for animals in her.

Over the years, her growing love for animals led her to pursue a career path related to wild animals. Choolwe went to the Copperbelt University in Zambia, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Management in 2015. She worked as a Community Conservation Officer for Panthera Wildcat Conservation, helping with taking down camera traps from the field and the first phase of analysing the camera trap data/images. In 2019 she joined the conservation technology team within Panthera as the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) coordinator for Kafue National Park. Here, her role was to coordinate the implementation, maintenance and day-to-day running of the software. In 2021, Choolwe was privileged to move a bit further in her career by expanding her role to Zimbabwe as well as Zambia, specifically for sites supported by the Lion Recovery Fund.

In 2022, Choolwe was promoted to Regional Coordinator for the Panthera Conservation Technology team operating within the southern African countries of Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana and Angola. Her role was to coordinate the use of Panthera-approved software, which includes SMART, EarthRanger, Panthera Integrated Data Systems (PantheraIDS) and Wildbook at a regional level.

Her experience in working in almost all the aspects of conservation has boosted her career goals, leading her to apply for the MSc in Conservation Biology. Choolwe feels that the course looks at all the elements that make up the conservation field and believes that it will help her to move further in her career so that she can have a major impact in the regions in which she works.

Thesis: Factors influencing cheetah distribution in Kafue National Park (Supervisors Justin O'Riain, Zoe Woodgate, Kim Young-Overton, Sarah Durant)