Sean Morar

Sean has been passionate about wildlife and conservation since he could talk. Whether it was exploring the local dog park or choosing to watch ‘SABC 3’ National Geographic specials rather than the popular tv shows of his peers, there really was only one direction his life was going to go. His family also nurtured his growing love for the outdoors and took every opportunity to get him out of the city. Since leaving school, he has tried to spend as much time exploring, travelling and working in the field as possible. Sean joined a professional field guiding program in the hopes of reaching his childhood dreams of becoming a game ranger and field guide in the African bush. This allowed him the opportunity to work and train in big game wilderness areas such as Kruger National Park, Erindi in Namibia, and Mashatu in the Thuli block of Botswana, to name but a few.

He then decided that he had to learn more about these systems and studied a BSc Biological Sciences at the APEs (Animals, Plants and Environmental Sciences) department of Wits University. He also did his honours degree through Wits, focusing on behavioural ecology. His honours included a semester with OTS (the Organisation of Tropical Studies) which allowed him vital field research experience in a number of South African biomes. It also allowed him the opportunity to study alongside international students from whom he learnt a lot. His professional experience has included a 13-month over-wintering expedition to Marion island as an oceans and coastal field researcher for DEFF, where his work focused on the long-term breeding colony monitoring of a multitude of species on the island. He then worked in conservation as a priority species monitor in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park where the species focus was on wild dogs, cheetah, lion, rhino and vultures. Sean has also spent some time at the Cambridge/Zurich Kalahari Meerkat Project tracking and collecting behavioral and life history data on meerkats. He is now ready to further his knowledge with the CB Masters course and hopes to one day put the skills learned here to use in a practical conservation setting.

Thesis: Handling the heat: keeping water available for birds of the Tankwa Karoo Desert. (Supervisors: Dr Susan Cunningham, Dr Wendy Foden, Dr Nicola van Wilgen and Dr Alan Lee)