Based in northern California, our team is made up of dedicated and passionate supporters of wildlife conservation.
Stephanie’s two biggest passions are telling great stories and helping animals. In 2003 she was able to bring these passions together by managing communications projects for WildAid, an organization focused on ending illegal wildlife trafficking. Inspired by this experience she went on to get her M.A. in geography, studying human-wildlife interactions in marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation. Before WCN, Stephanie was a Communications Officer at The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation where she worked on communications strategy and developed print and digital content on a variety of issues—including climate change, education, women’s empowerment, and the arts. Stephanie leads WCN’s Communications Department and is thrilled to be using her marketing and communications skills to help protect wildlife.
Julie has been passionate about the natural world since childhood. She grew up raising birds and cats in Michigan and has been integrating wildlife into her glass sculpture and textile pieces as a fine artist in the Bay Area and Washington state. She joined WCN in September, 2022, bringing experience as a bookkeeper for independent artists and an accountant in the nonprofit sector. She holds a Certificate in Business: Accounting from Berkeley City College, as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts dual degree from California College of the Arts. Now a resident of North Bend, Washington, Julie works and lives in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains with glacial rivers, temperate rainforests, and elk herds in her neighborhood. Outside of work, you can find her creating mixed media glass sculpture in her studio, singing, and enjoying the outdoors with family and friends.
Jean-Gael "JG" Collomb, Ph.D.
JG has always been passionate about animals. With over two decades of experience in the non-profit sector, his focus has been at the interface between wildlife conservation and development issues. He joined WCN in 2012 and provides strategic leadership to enhance WCN’s overall impacts, sustainability and growth. Originally from Paris, France, JG started his career working with inspiring ecologists studying chimps, gorillas, and mandrills and dodging the occasional elephant in Gabon. At the World Resources Institute, he managed an NGO network to monitor logging companies in Central Africa. He returned to Gabon with the Wildlife Conservation Society to help the development of national parks and ecotourism. For his Ph.D., JG studied the effects of tourism on people’s wellbeing around protected areas in northeastern Namibia. JG is thrilled to combine all of his interests through his work at WCN. When not at work, he tries to keep up with his wife and two children exploring the outdoors and cultural diversity of the Bay Area.
Sophie joined WCN in the spring of 2016 because of her passion for animals all around the world, not just her local pup, Peaches. As Senior Community Engagement Manager, Sophie manages the annual Wildlife Conservation Expos and donor events. She also leads the Wildlife Champions program, working with external fundraisers hosting events and crowdfunding campaigns benefiting WCN and their conservation Partners. Sophie graduated from the University of Puget Sound with a B.A. in Spanish Literature and International Business. Most recently, Sophie worked at the American Cancer Society where she managed a large fundraising event to support the fight against breast cancer, and at the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health in community and donor events. As a native to the Bay Area, Sophie still enjoys exploring the East Bay for new hiking trails, going to the beach with Peaches, and visiting local wine country.
Brooke’s passion for wildlife started at a very young age with her first book report being about Jane Goodall. This passion only grew after she went to Africa on a safari, watched every David Attenborough documentary, and learned about the Cheetah Conservation Fund her first year at Cornell. Now that Brooke is the Conservation Funds Manager at WCN, she aims to support and grow the Crisis and Recovery Funds, communicate the stories in the field out to the public, and happily be part of the difference that is conserving these magnificent species. Prior to WCN, Brooke graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Sustainability as well as worked for the City of Piedmont as their sustainability fellow. She hopes to utilize her past experience to enhance the relationship between conservation and sustainability. Brooke is an avid fan of both Marvel movies and chocolate, and she loves to travel, hike, snuggle her dogs, and be with her family.
Melissa joined WCN in Fall 2022 to grow a corporate partnership portfolio in support of WCN’s mission to protect endangered wildlife. Fueled by a lifelong love for animals, Melissa brings a deep passion for saving wildlife and raising money for conservation. Prior to WCN, Melissa was Associate Director of Corporate Engagement at the Wildlife Conservation Society, where she aligned corporate interests with a wide range of global conservation initiatives. During her seven years, she successfully secured funding for species conservation, the protection of vulnerable ecosystems, and the advancement of nature-based climate solutions. She has also worked at Panthera, supporting a variety of fundraising efforts for wild cat conservation. Melissa holds a Masters in Animal Behavior and Conservation, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. She also earned a Certificate in Corporate Sustainability in 2021, and is a current participant of the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders program. Melissa is based in New York. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, fitness, and spending time with her fiancé and loved ones.
Since her childhood hobbies of horseback riding and aquarium keeping, Rachel has always loved animals. After attending a marine biology summer camp in the Florida Keys, she knew her calling was to help preserve important species and habitats. She was thrilled to join the team as Donor Engagement Coordinator in June 2019. Previously, she promoted conservation through organizing education programs, much like the ones that inspired her, and volunteering with harbor seal rehabilitation at The Marine Mammal Center. Before moving to the Bay Area, Rachel was an environmental educator while earning her B.S in marine biology in Charleston, South Carolina. She is passionate about community-based conservation that benefits both wildlife and people. In her spare time, Rachel enjoys cycling, yoga, live music, and spending time with loved ones.
An animal lover since birth, Amy first realized the negative effects people were having on the wildlife and wild places she treasured when she had to write a middle school paper on the environment. Since that defining moment, she has made it her mission to do as much as she can to help protect animals and the environment—through her volunteer and career work at nonprofits like the Greater Farallones Association, the San Francisco Zoo, the Marine Mammal Center in Santa Barbara, and WCN. In addition to her nonprofit experience, Amy has worked at several large tech companies in marketing, communications, and training. Today, as the Salesforce System Administrator at WCN, she leverages her technology experience and the power of database customization to help the WCN team work more efficiently to better protect wildlife. Amy holds a B.A. in Communications and a certification in Salesforce Administration. Previously, she managed a doggie daycare and her own petsitting business, learned to train big cats and other wild animals at Hollywood Animals, and was awarded a grant to go on an Earthwatch conservation science excursion on a riverboat down the Amazon. In her free time, you can usually find her outdoors hiking, horseback riding, stand up paddle boarding, whale watching, skiing, traveling to places with natural wonders and fauna—and photographing all of it.
Mariya joined WCN in May 2022. Prior to this, she worked in the nonprofit sector for almost nine years providing accounting support to various organizations. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration/Accountancy from Sacramento State University. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time in nature and visiting family in her native Bulgaria.
Laura joined WCN in 2022 as the Senior Program Manager focusing on WCN’s Career and Scholarship Programs, which support individual conservationists early in their career. With a lifelong dedication to conservation and biodiversity she has filled a variety of roles in the zoological and conservation field. She specializes in increasing conservation impact through capacity building of early conservation professionals, diversifying perspectives, and developing collaborative initiatives for impactful conservation solutions. Laura is an alumn of the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders, and now serves as the program director. Originally from California, she received her BSc in Biology from San Diego State University. In her free time she can be found exploring nature, cultivating rare plants, and sharing time with her beloved pets.
Since a young age, Markus has been interested in wildlife and conservation. He graduated as veterinarian from the University of Pretoria in 1994. After graduating, he worked as an exotic animal vet at the University of Pretoria. In 1995, he joined the North West Parks and Tourism Board as veterinarian and field ecologist for Madikwe Game Reserve. From there he moved to Kruger National Park at the end of 1999 as a junior veterinarian, rising through the ranks to become the Head of the Veterinary Wildlife Services Department for South African National Parks in 2003. From SANParks, Markus moved to Botswana in 2017 to fill the role as the Chief Conservation Officer for Great Plains Conservation and overseeing the Botswana component of the Rhino without Borders rhino translocation to the Okavango Delta. After 2 years Markus moved to the Oak Foundation as a program officer in the wildlife conservation & trade portfolio based in London and currently will remain with them and play a dual role as Director of the Rhino Recovery Fund and developing the conservation strategy in the Oak Foundation. Markus has been working with rhino since a student so they have been a thread throughout his career.
Alice has been working in nonprofit accounting for over 20 years. She is a licensed CPA in the State of California and has focused her career specializing in nonprofit accounting and finance. Alice was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado and went to the University of Colorado before transferring to the University of Utah where she obtained a Master’s degree in Accounting with an emphasis in Accounting Information Systems. She is passionate about helping her local community and nonprofit organizations in a volunteer capacity in addition to helping the Wildlife Conservation Network grow and provide nonprofit accounting expertise and support. Alice loves to travel the world with her family and learn about different cultures. While not at work, Alice enjoys mountain biking, snowboarding, and watching her two teenage boys play baseball.
Bwalya Kampamba grew up in Kabwe, Zambia, a town just north of Zambia’s capital city, Lusaka. She has always been passionate about wildlife and environmental care. It was her love for geography and biology in high school that led her to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Biology at Zambia’s Copperbelt University. In 2021, she joined WCN as Career Program Manager, supporting early to mid-career conservationists, indigenous to Africa, to enhance their careers and technical capacity in conservation in order to achieve impact. Prior to joining WCN, Bwalya worked at the British High Commission in Zambia where she managed illegal wildlife trade bilateral matters and promoted UK funded conservation projects. She has also worked with other conservation NGOs in the past, including World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Conservation Lower Zambezi, who have vast project management, research, and ecological experience working with communities living near protected areas. She loves nature and people and feels fortunate that her role at WCN compliments that. When not at work, Bwalya loves to spend time with her daughter while trying out different cooking and baking recipes.
Peter Lindsey, Ph.D.
Peter joined WCN in 2017 as the Conservation Initiatives Director and brings a lifelong passion for African wildlife conservation to the organization. He has been working on and with African wildlife since 1993, when he started out as an apprentice in Save Valley Conservancy in Zimbabwe. Peter went on to study at Oxford and ultimately graduated with a PhD from the Mammal Research Institute at the University of Pretoria. Developing an early expertise on African wild dogs, Peter went on to work on a broad array of conservation issues ranging from predator conservation, to the threats facing them and other wildlife, to wildlife ranching and community conservation, and most recently to Africa’s vast protected area network. Peter has worked in Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe and brings a unique ‘big picture’ perspective to our African conservation efforts. Prior to joining WCN, Peter worked for Panthera’s Lion Program as the policy coordinator and completed some major overviews of the issues facing the conservation of lions in Africa’s protected area network.
Pat has always been passionate about helping people and finding ways to uplift the community. Growing up in the suburbs of Bangkok, Thailand, one can usually find Pat supporting neighborhood charity events. This passion remains intact even as she navigated the challenges of immigrating to the United States and settling in the Bay Area. Pat’s deep appreciation for wildlife came about with the support of her son, who pursued a career in wildlife conservation and environmental education. Pat is delighted to join WCN in 2021 as the Revenue Accountant, leveraging her nearly two decades of financial expertise to support WCN’s mission to protect endangered wildlife. In her spare time, Pat likes to keep busy enjoying nature, cooking up Thai meals, and looking forward to her 20th year volunteering as a tax expert for underserved communities in the East Bay.
Zoliswa “Zoe” Nhleko, PhD
Zoe joined WCN in May 2022 as a Senior Program Manager. Her interest in wildlife conservation started at a young age when attended an after school program at the local museum. She graduated from Rhodes University with a Bsc in Zoology and went on to work at a Natural Science Museum as an environmental education officer. For her masters research she investigated the reproductive success of black rhinos in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, and that’s where her love for large mammals was ignited. She went on to work for the South African National Parks as a junior scientist based out of the Kruger National Park. She graduated with a PhD in Interdisciplinary Ecology from the University of Florida. Her research investigated the effects of poaching and climate on the demography, physiology, distribution and behavior of white rhinos in South Africa. When not at work, Zoe loves traveling, attending music festivals, listening to podcasts and spending time with loved ones.
Janel is excited and grateful to join WCN’s Marketing and Communications department where her two passions for Animals and Design perfectly meld. Janel was born and raised in the Bay Area. She received her B.A. in Design and Cinema/Digital Media from the University of California Davis. During her studies in sustainable design, she became fascinated with the process of designing solutions that assisted in the coexistence of nature and humans. Janel is thrilled to have this opportunity to further explore her interest in sustainability as the Marketing Coordinator for WCN. With her experience in Design, Administration and Marketing, she hopes to further assist WCN in increasing their engagement through various forms of communication and art. In her free time, you can find Janel working on personal art projects, listening to podcasts or playing video games. She is a self proclaimed homebody who loves spending weekends in with her family and two dogs Crumbs and Oreo.
After 20 years in the private sector in Silicon Valley, Rebecca joined The Nature Conservancy in 2001 to pursue her life-long interest in conservation. As a Regional Director she oversaw conservation programs in many parts of the world, from China to Peru to the western United States, and developed a deep appreciation for the importance of community-based conservation. Then as the Chief Conservation Strategies Officer she led TNC’s global policy and science initiatives. She joined WCN in 2010 to contribute her experience to WCN’s innovative and effective model for wildlife conservation. She is on the boards of several other conservation organizations, and in her free time, she also enjoys hiking adventures.
Pauline holds a lifelong passion for conservation and a love of the outdoors. She grew up on a sheep ranch along the banks of the Mattole River in remote Northern California. From her background in philanthropy, she has extensive experience working with donors who had either a lot or a little to give, and was inspired daily by the kindness and generosity of people in her community. She is excited to be a part of the WCN team as the Gift and Legacy Manager and to work on planned as well as current giving opportunities. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in pre-law from Mills College, and later earned a Master’s Degree from The George Washington University in Political Management. Among her many interests, she has volunteered at a program that takes WWII and Korean War veterans on a four-day trip to Washington D.C. to visit and reflect at their respective War Memorials, has run three half marathons and loves to travel.
Araluen ‘Azza’ Schunmann
Azza is the Director of the Pangolin Crisis Fund where she is focusing on tackling the threats to pangolins from the illegal wildlife trade. She is a former British diplomat specializing in security issues, but moved into conservation due to her passion for wildlife. Azza combined her technical skills with a love of wildlife by training rangers in Kenya to prevent wildlife crime, and then worked with Save The Elephants and WCN’s Elephant Crisis Fund on their counter-wildlife trafficking program. Recognizing the severe threats that pangolins are facing, Azza joined the Pangolin Crisis Fund in 2021 to tackle this challenge head on. Azza also loves dogs and so in her spare time she hangs out with Teddy, a rescue dog that she is training in conservation scent detection.
Neal is driven to apply his energy towards the protection of wildlife, natural communities, and ecological integrity. He joined WCN in July 2021 as Senior Manager of the California Wildlife Program. His work focuses on connectivity conservation, incorporating experience with protected area planning and implementation, land stewardship, and linear infrastructure. Prior to his work with WCN, he was with Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST), where he focused on the organization’s efforts to establish a protected network of resilient ecosystems that enable wildlife to persist and adapt in a rapidly changing landscape and climate. In addition to conservation work, he enjoys writing and playing music, reading, cooking, gardening, and getting in motion. He holds a master’s degree in landscape architecture from Cal Poly Pomona, with a focus in landscape ecology and regional planning, and a BA in social ecology from UC Irvine. He was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Tommy joined the Wildlife Conservation Network in the spring of 2019 as the Conservation Network Manager. He intends to improve the communication of conservation topics to a wider audience, by highlighting the field’s social and economic values, in addition to its ecological importance. Prior to WCN, Tommy worked in the global program of the Wildlife Conservation Society, based at the Bronx Zoo in New York City. While growing up in New York, Tommy recognized the impact that land use planning has on both our cities and natural resources, driving him to earn a Bachelor’s degree in both Environmental Science and Urban Design & Architecture, from New York University, where he also spent a semester studying abroad in Berlin, Germany. Tommy is a fluent Spanish speaker, avid traveler, biker, outdoorsman, and fan of music.
Hailing from Brookline, Massachusetts, Becca joined WCN as the Grants Manager in September 2016. She brings with her over ten years of fundraising experience, starting in college by raising money to buy a boat for her collegiate rowing team in memory of her father and then bicycling across the country to raise money for affordable housing. Becca holds a B.S. in Animal Science from Cornell University and is excited to bring together her professional skill set with her personal interests and love of animals. She’s an avid equestrian and a dog lover. In her free time, she enjoys backpacking (especially in the Sierra Nevada mountains), cycling, photography, running, open water swimming, and generally being outside as much as possible. She lives in Oakland with her dog, Huckleberry, and spends most of her free time riding her horse, Temecula. Two fun facts: her first pet was a mouse, and she used to lead Lord of the Rings-themed horse treks in New Zealand.
Carly has been working for Save Pangolins since 2019 and helped launch the Pangolin Champions Program, as well as the Innovation Grants Program. She is excited to join Wildlife Conservation Network’s global team working to advance conservation efforts for pangolins and other endangered species, and to support the incredible work of WCN’s conservation partners abroad. She is passionate about wildlife conservation and has volunteered for CuriOdyssey Museum and Zoo, Project Mecistops and the IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group. She received her undergraduate degree in Political Science and French at the University of California, Davis, and has spent the past two years taking courses towards a Conservation and Resource Management certificate at Merritt College. In her spare time, she plays in the Northern California Women’s Hockey League and goes on hikes with her dog Lily.
Paul specializes in highly threatened and endangered species, incubating conservation startups, and building leadership capacity in the environmental field. At WCN, Paul is accountable for the strategic deployment and tactical implementation of WCN’s Wildlife Funds Strategy, including current and future ones. In addition to his work with WCN, he runs Save Pangolins, a project he co-founded to address the illegal trade of the little-known pangolin, the world’s most illegally trafficked mammal. Prior to WCN, Paul was a director of Ewaso Lions and helped start, grow, and run the project. Paul is an alum of the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders program and now serves on the board. Paul holds a BSc from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources & Environment and received his Master’s from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. He was raised in the Bay Area.
Kaitlin joined WCN in 2018 as the Digital Marketing Manager and has since expanded her role to Senior Digital Manager. At WCN, Kaitlin bridges her communications experience with her deep passion for wildlife and sustainable development. Kaitlin guides WCN’s digital marketing strategy including social media, website optimization, email marketing, and content development. Prior to WCN, Kaitlin has created digital engagement strategies to connect people to the causes and products they care about across a variety of sectors. She has a B.A. in International Development Studies from UCLA and an M.B.A. from CSU, Chico. When she’s not at work, Kaitlin loves traveling, exploring new restaurants, exercising, and spending time with her friends and family.
Meagan grew up in the Bay Area with a deep passion for wildlife and conservation efforts, brought on by a childhood spent in local parks. She joined WCN in August 2021 as Events Coordinator, supporting the annual Wildlife Conservation Expos and donor events. Prior to joining WCN, Meagan worked at Oakland Zoo, managing the overnight and Scout programs. She holds a Bachelor’s in Sociology from Mills College and is currently earning her MBA from UC Davis. Getting to combine her love of wildlife and her new business skills at WCN is a dream come true. When she’s not working or studying, Meagan volunteers with Girl Scouts, attends Greek language classes, and tries to herd her two cats, Mistletoe and Hemlock
David has been fascinated with animals since childhood. He earned his B.A. in Film Studies and English from the University of California, Davis, learning valuable writing skills and how to tell great stories. He then moved to San Francisco, working for an independent film archive and then later joining the tech industry, where he spent many years learning how to manage projects, engaging with clients, and developing marketing experience. When his desire to help animals called to him again, he left tech and joined the nonprofit world at the San Francisco SPCA, until eventually finding WCN and being enamored by their mission. He brings all of his accrued skills to a team dedicated to protecting animals around the world, and when he’s not in the office, you might find him in a bookstore, on a hike, or in a karaoke lounge.
Emma grew up documenting every outdoor excursion and backcountry escape with field sketches of encountered wildlife, native flora, and rugged horizon lines. She received a B.A. in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Barbara, and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Science Illustration from California State University Monterey Bay, combining her passions in a fusion of scientific communication and visual creative media. With 5 years of design experience under her belt, she has held professional roles in science illustration, digital animation, graphic design, and social content creation and management. When not in the office, Emma can be found working on art projects, surfing, playing music, or backpacking in the Sierras.
Kelly has been an avid animal lover all her life. After many years working in Environmental Education, her career path led her through the world of Zoos and Aquariums where she was inspired by those making a difference in the field of conservation. Kelly has a Masters of Public Administration in Nonprofit Management and enjoys using her knowledge to help those in the field. She feels fortunate to be able to put her skills and her passion for animals together in her role at WCN. When she is not at the office Kelly can be found enjoying the company of friends or at the park with her dog, Frank.