Paola is an ecologist and conservationist with 20+ years of broad experience and expertise in biodiversity research and the design and implementation of knowledge-driven conservation solutions.
Her background and experience includes marine and terrestrial systems, endangered species recovery, human-wildlife coexistence, protected area management, and conservation technology.
Paola was born and grew up in South Africa, pursued her education on the West Coast of the USA, and returned to Africa where she now lives and works in Mozambique focusing on the post-war healing of ecosystems, recovery of endangered species (lions, painted dogs, leopard, elephant, pangolin) and human-wildlife coexistence. She is a National Geographic fellow and her work and that of her teams has been featured by the New York Times, PBS Nova, PBS International, WIRED Magazine, Nat Geo,
Seeker, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Tangled Bank Studios, and the IUCN.
In 2018 she co-launched and led Mozambique’s 1st pangolin recovery center which seized and rescued dozens of pangolins each year from traffickers, and successfully rehabilitating and releasing many back in to the wild. Paola’s strategic carnivore research and close collaboration with wildlife rangers in
Gorongosa (2012-2021) helped usher in the recovery of an indigenous lion population, which paved the way for the highly successful reintroduction of painted dogs (2018-2021) and leopard (2020/21). She has published numerous peer-reviewed publications and is currently authoring her 1 st book.
In 2021 Paola co-founded a new environmental organization that works across a range of key biodiversity areas in Mozambique with an inspiring and diverse team of colleagues, community
partners sharing a common commitment to authentic, inclusive and socially just environmental approaches. She is motivated by diverse & motivated teams passionate about transforming the world towards just and sustainable outcomes.
Keywords: human-wildlife coexistence, restoration, biodiversity conservation, endangered species
recovery, lions, pangolins