Maggie Mwale

Maggie has always been fascinated by nature – be it by birds mastering the winds as they fly, ants performing their unnoticed duties, or flowering plants blossoming for our butterflies and bees. Growing up in Livingstone, Zambia’s tourism capital, she was drawn by the magnificent mystery of the surrounding habitats and the animals they support. While still young, and after investing hours observing animals in their natural environment, Maggie began to notice the complexities of their behaviours and appearances. This fascination grew into a desire to pursue a wildlife-related career – firstly to better understand the animals and then to learn how to conserve them.

Maggie attained a BSc in Wildlife Management at Copperbelt University in 2015 and, shortly thereafter, took up a position as Curator of Ornithology at the Livingstone Museum. This has given her a platform to conduct conservation initiatives that aim at managing shared resources between people and animals. Her particular interest is in the study of birds, and she has spent extended periods conducting fieldwork on birds in various parts of Zambia.

One of her ongoing activities is a biannual waterbird count in Livingstone that monitors population trends and uses these birds as indicators for assessing the health of wetlands. The programme encourages the participation of diverse sections of the community, whether they are birders or not. This combination of scientific investigation and community engagement has the potential to be highly effective as a conservation strategy. Maggie’s position at the Livingstone Museum also allows her to curate exhibitions, providing great opportunities to disseminate information on birds and conservation to the general public.

Maggie is fortunate that she is able to combine her passion for birds with her daily work.

Thesis: Have birds' eggs become paler as the climate warms? (Supervisors: Claire Spottiswoode, Shannon Conradie, Nicholas Horrocks).


Conservation Biology Masters Course
Find out more about the Conservation Biology Masters Course and the projects completed by students from previous years. Applications need to be submitted by no later than August for commencement in January the following year.