BSc Zoology. Class of 1996. Award-Winning Behavioural Ecologist and Conservation Biologist. Founder and Director of Elephants for Africa.
Elephants for Africa is a charity that is dedicated to the conservation of elephants and other wildlife. Through research and education, the charity empowers local villagers to live alongside wildlife; encouraging them to understand elephants, whilst trying to minimise the damage that they can sometimes cause. So how did this amazing charity begin? Well, it all started with award-winning behavioural ecologist, conservation biologist and Swansea University alumna, Dr Kate Evans.
As a child, Kate was already advocating for nature, always looking under rocks for woodlice, and trying to save stray, and often rabid dogs. Whilst she had a love of all animals, it was elephants that truly captured her heart and imagination, and at the age of seven Kate made a promise to help their conservation and wellbeing.
"I wasn’t sure whether further education was the right route for me. Thankfully I found myself in the wonderful environment of Swansea University..."
Kate struggled academically at school, and was eventually diagnosed with dyslexia. Whilst academics didn’t come naturally to her, she persevered, saying, “I wasn’t sure whether further education was the right route for me. Thankfully I found myself in the wonderful environment of Swansea University, and on a course I loved and was able to exile at, Zoology.”
After graduating, Kate then went on to gain experience volunteering on various projects throughout southern Africa. With more field experience under her belt she then made a surprise return to education and Swansea, where she successfully studied for a Masters in Zoology, focussing on Lion Parasitology. It was at this point that Kate realised what she really wanted to do.
“There was an opportunity for me to continue with Lion Parasitology through to a PhD, but for me it was elephants and their actual wellbeing that I always found to be important, not academics itself. Having said that, the best way to achieve my goal was by pursuing a PhD on adolescent male elephant behaviour, which formed the foundation of the charity Elephants for Africa.”
Kate founded Elephants for Africa on completion of her PhD, and now heads up the charity, which has a holistic approach to elephant conservation, focusing much of its work in Botswana; home to the largest remaining elephant population.
"...when I went for interview all those years a go at Swansea I am very glad that the Professor saw my potential and passion above and beyond my academic achievements to that date."
Kate continues to be inspired by the wilderness of Botswana and is passionate about the importance of conserving African elephants. Knowing that Swansea University has played a large part in helping her through this great journey, Kate says “I have always taken the road less travelled, and when I went for interview all those years a go at Swansea I am very glad that the Professor saw my potential and passion above and beyond my academic achievements to that date.”