Jarryd Foster

Growing up just outside Durban meant the bush was never far away for Jarryd. School holidays usually consisted of fishing trips up the Zululand coast or camping in game reserves. Not surprisingly, he soon developed a deep love and appreciation for the African bush. Looking to pursue a career in nature, he completed a BSc Honours in Biodiversity and Ecology at Stellenbosch University. He was fortunate enough to carry out his thesis fieldwork in the Kruger National Park, which was an enriching experience that cemented his desire to work in the field.

After his studies, he briefly returned to the Kruger to work as a field assistant before he was given the opportunity to work for Wildlife ACT, a non-profit conservation organisation. With Wildlife ACT, he worked as a priority species monitor in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park for almost three years. In this time, he gained diverse conservation field experience, including the immobilisation and collaring of African wild dog, cheetah, lion and rhino; vulture capture, ringing and tagging; and the management of predator boma holding facilities. This work reaffirmed his deep passion for the preservation of African species and wild spaces and gave him more direction and clarity about his aspirations to work in conservation management.

With a few years of conservation field experience under his belt, he feels that now is the right time to pursue the Conservation Biology MSc. He is looking forward to the challenges of the course and believes it will stand him in excellent stead to make a lasting and meaningful contribution to the conservation of our wildlife. In his spare time, you will find Jarryd birdwatching, planning his next trip to the bush or watching sport.

Thesis: What protects baobabs from elephants? (Supervisors: Timothy O'Connor, Vernon Visser, Timm Hoffman).