The Diploma Team

Course Director

Professor Claudio Sillero
Deputy Director of the WildCRU
Bill Travers Fellow for Wildlife Conservation

Claudio joined the WildCRU and Lady Margaret Hall in 1988, to read his DPhil on the behavioural ecology of the Ethiopian wolf. Born in the Argentine Pampas Claudio graduated as a zoologist in Universidad Nacional de La Plata before moving to Africa. A conservation biologist, he has been working across four continents on the conservation of threatened species, the impact of infectious disease on wild carnivores, protected areas and their surrounding rural communities, biodiversity conservation policy and practices, and mitigation of conflict between wildlife and human interests.

In 1995 he founded the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme and received the Whitley Award for Animal Conservation from the Royal Geographical Society for his work in Ethiopia. As part of a long and fruitful partnership with the Born Free Foundation, he is their Chief Scientist, providing advice on conservation policy and managing a large portfolio of field projects. He is the Chair of the IUCN Canid Specialist Group, the international body responsible for the conservation of wolves, jackals, dogs and foxes.


Dr Egil Dröge
Course Coordinator & Lead Tutor

Egil Dröge was born in The Netherlands. He obtained a M.Sc. degree in Ecology and a M.Sc. degree in GIS from Wageningen University in 2005. In 2006 he volunteered for 8 months with Durrell Wildlife on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia before returning to The Netherlands to work at a company as a GIS consultant. In early 2008 he joined African Wild Dog Conservation, Zambia (AWDC), studying African wild dogs in and around South Luangwa National Park in Zambia. He was instrumental in the growth of the project and soon AWDC evolved into the Zambian Carnivore Programme (ZCP) studying all large carnivores in Zambia in three ecosystems, and gained extensive experience in survey and field techniques. In August 2014 he moved to Bozeman, Montana to work on his Ph.D. under the guidance of Dr. Scott Creel with data collected during his time in Zambia. One of the things he enjoyed most during his time in Zambia was working with, and assisting Zambians in obtaining their graduate degrees. He joined WildCRU in 2017.

Dr Paul Johnson
Senior Tutor

Whitley Analyst & Research Fellow

Paul Johnson joined the WildCRU in 1991, having written a thesis on the ecology of freshwater invertebrates at the University of Reading. He has tackled quantitative problems over a wide range of projects, spanning animals from beetles to tigers. He has been particularly involved with farmland wildlife issues in the UK. He was a member of the WildCRU team contributing to Burns inquiry into hunting foxes and other UK wildlife with dogs and has recently been part of a WildCRU collaboration assessing the biodiversity implications of organic farming across the UK landscape. The team is currently exploring the factors underlying the observed patterns. His current projects also include a collaboration with the Durrell Wildlife Trust exploring the scale and causes of bushmeat exploitation in West African moist forests.

Paul is a retained lecturer in Quantitative Methods at Pembroke College, Oxford and a member of the Mammal Society’s Survey Committee.

Dr Jorgelina Marino
Welfare Tutor & Research Fellow 

Jorgelina Marino studied biology in Argentina (Universidad Nacional del Comahue 1996) and joined the WildCRU in 1997, where she obtained her DPhil in 2003. Jorgelina is involved in research and conservation in Africa and South America and is the Ecologist of the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme. She runs the People and Wildlife Initiative. She is a member of the IUCN SSC Canid Specialist Group and the coordinator of its Ethiopian Wolf Working Group.

Her areas of expertise are highland ecology, carnivore ecology and sociobiology, spatial ecology, species distribution modeling, population dynamics and monitoring. Her current work is on species conservation in mountains and arid lands, and how they are affected by land use and climate change. She supervises undergraduate and graduate students in Ethiopia, Argentina, Bolivia and Oxford.

Dr Amy Dickman
Director of WildCRU & Tutor

Kaplan Senior Research Fellow in Felid Conservation

Amy Dickman first joined WildCRU in 1997 after completing a B.Sc. degree in Zoology from the University of Liverpool. Through WildCRU, she worked for 5 years with Laurie Marker at the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia, investigating cheetah and leopard ecology, as well as methods of mitigating human-cheetah conflict. She then completed an M.Sc. at the University of Oxford, investigating the determinants of human-carnivore conflict in Tanzania; work that she developed further for her Ph.D. from UCL.

Amy rejoined the WildCRU in 2009 and is now developing a joint carnivore-ecology/human-carnivore conflict study around Ruaha National Park in Tanzania. She examines which social and ecological factors are most significant in driving human-wildlife conflict in the Ruaha landscape, and therefore how it can best be resolved, as well as examining felid ecology across different land use types. She is also involved in using detection dogs for wildlife research, and hope to develop that work further during her current Fellowship.

Professor David Macdonald
Founder of WildCRU & Tutor

David Macdonald founded the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit in 1986. Its aim was, and remains, to undertake original research on aspects of fundamental biology relevant to solving practical problems of wildlife conservation and environmental management, and thus to underpin policy formation and public debate of the many issues that surround the conservation of wildlife and its habitats. Although David’s background is in the behavioural ecology of mammals, his research currently spans taxa ranging from mammals to moths, and is inter-disciplinary (including teams involving environmental economics and the social sciences).

Much of David’s research is stimulated by conflict between people and wildlife, whether it be through predation, infectious disease or invasive species. A threat uniting many aspects of the WildCRU’s research is the ecological basis of social organization, with particular reference to the impacts of both resource dispersion and perturbation. The WildCRU has special expertise with the Carnivora, and its emphasis on the Felidae currently involves research on lions (problems with trophy hunting and stock-raiding), tigers and leopards (stock-raiding), and the impact of logging on Bornean felids, together with work Scottish wildcats, pumas and jaguars.