I grew up in game reserves in Zululand, South Africa, where my father conducted pioneering research and conservation work on the Nile crocodile, and my mother developed botanical expertise now manifest in her work on the Natal Flora Trust guidebooks to the flora of the region. I have Masters degrees from the Universities of Cape Town and Birkbeck University of London, a DPhil from Oxford, and have benefited from research fellowships at Oxford, and Imperial College London where my sponsor was E.J. Milner-Gulland.
My research is interdisciplinary, ranging across the fields of environmental history, animal and historical geography, ethnozoology and conservation science. My focus is human-predator interactions, in particular the crocodilians. I am interested in histories and narratives of predator attacks; mapping social and ecological dimensions of human-crocodile encounters in space and time; testing theories on the influence of biophysical factors on the seasonality of croc bites on humans; and infographics as a means of exploring and communicating about conflictual human-predator relations.
I am the Lambert Lecturer in Environment (Applied Herpetology) at Birkbeck University of London, a member of the IUCN Task Force on Human Wildlife Conflict, and the IUCN Crocodile Specialist Group. I have devised guidance on avoiding crocodile attacks available online and in print in South Africa, based on infographics of my attack data, and am collaborating with local experts to develop posters on avoiding conflicts in South Africa and Gujarat, India.
2017, S. Pooley, M. Barua, W. Beinart, A. Dickman, G. Holmes, J. Lorimer, A.J. Loveridge, D.W. Macdonald, G. Marvin, S. Redpath, C. Sillero-Zubiri, A. Zimmermann and E.J. Milner-Gulland, ‘An interdisciplinary review of current and future approaches to improving human-predator relations’, Conservation Biology 31(3), 513-523.
2017 (in press), S. Redpath, J. Linnell, M. Festa-Bianchet , L. Boitani, N. Bunnefeld, A. Dickman, R. Gutiérrez, R. Irvine, M. Johansson, A. Majić, B. McMahon, S. Pooley, C. Sandström, A. Sjölander-Lindqvist , K. Skogen, J. Swenson, A. Trouwborst, J. Young, E.J. Milner-Gulland, ‘Don’t forget to look down – collaborative approaches to predator conservation,’ Biological Reviews available as ‘early view’.
2016, S. Pooley, ‘A Cultural herpetology of Nile crocodiles in Africa’, Conservation & Society, 14: 4, 391-405. http://www.conservationandsociety.org/article.asp?issn=0972-4923;year=2016;volume=14;issue=4;spage=391;epage=405;aulast=Pooley
2016, S. Pooley, ‘The entangled relations of humans and Nile crocodiles in Africa, c.1840-1992’, Environment and History, 33:2, 421-454.
2015, S. Pooley, ‘Using predator attack data to save lives, human and crocodilian’, Oryx: The International Journal of Conservation, 49, 581-583. doi:10.1017/S0030605315000186.
S. Pooley, 2016, Croc Digest: A Bibliography of Human Crocodile Conflicts Research and Reports, available at: http://www.iucncsg.org/pages/Human%252dCrocodile-Conflict.html