Samantha Nicholson heads up the African Lion Database, a conservation project that collects and analyses key data on the species to inform conservation-related decision-making.
By creating a repository of reliable information, the database aims to bolster the capacity of governments and organisations to assess the impacts of their interventions. Through her team’s efforts, she hopes to see South Africa acknowledged as a leader in lion conservation.
Nicholson has published various academic papers on carnivore conservation, and is currently busy with a PhD in zoology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. When her enrollment coincided with the birth of her child, many people around her encouraged her to delay her registration. Nicholson decided to march on, determined to balance the commitments of motherhood with keeping her career aspirations on track.
“Never say no to something that you can learn from and that could provide opportunities to grow in your career,” she says.
“Never stop learning!”