To achieve our holistic goal ALERT relies on the input of a large group of people, providing technical or financial expertise, operational and logistical skill, or funding and media know-how.  Only through the dedication and varied opinion and experience of those that contribute to the success of our programs can we devise and implement the innovative solutions needed to achieve our vision.

Our team comprise staff (below) as well as our patron and trustees all of which help to make ALERT who we are.

Dr. Norman Monks
Chief Executive Officer

Norman joined ALERT in February 2014 as Director of Conservation, taking over as CEO in 2015.  He holds an MSc in Conservation Biology from the University of Kent in Canterbury, a Certificate in Industrial Environmental Management from Rhodes University, as well as a Doctorate in Wildlife Management from the University of the Free State. 

Norman’s MSc research study was entitled “The Population Status, Diurnal Activity Patterns, Range and Territory Size, and Habitat Use by the White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) in Kyle Recreational Park, Zimbabwe”.  His PhD study on lions was entitled “The Demography and Population Status of Lions (Panthera leo) in the Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe.”

Norman’s 36 years of experience of working for the Zimbabwe Parks & Wildlife Management Authority has included the management of the Authority’s Game Ranching Research Unit, Gonarezhou National Park, and two UNESCO World Heritage Sites at Mana Pools National Park and Matopos National Park.  He has overseen all aspects of management including tourism, law enforcement, conservation, research and administration.  Norman is a member of the African Lion Working Group and IUCN SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group.

In 2003 Norman was presented with the “Researcher of the Year” award by the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and in 2005 he was awarded the “Conservationist of the Year” award by the Conservation division of Safari Club International for his conservation and management contribution during his long career in the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority of Zimbabwe.                                        

Dr. Norman Monks

Dr. Jackie Abell
Director of Research

Jackie joined ALERT in 2013 having volunteered and interned with ALERT several times over the preceding years.  Jackie has graduated with an MA (Hons) from Dundee University, an MSc from Lancaster University, a second MSc in Animal Behaviour from Manchester Metropolitan University, as well as a Doctorate in Philosophy/Psychology from Loughborough University.  Jackie brings multi-disciplinary experience to conservation that we believe is vital in ensuring that our programs achieve the greatest likelihood of success.  Jackie is employed by Coventry University and seconded to ALERT, and is a member of the IUCN SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group and African Lion Working Group. 


Dr Jackie Abell

David Youldon

David joined ALERT in October 2006, at which time nothing more existed of the charity except the name and a broad concept.  Since then David has overseen the growth of ALERT year on year in terms of; the breadth and depth of our programs, our funding levels, support within the conservation ‘industry’, and global reach in raising awareness of the need for urgent action to ensure a secure future for Africa’s lions. 

In 2009 and 2010 David presented and co-produced two series about our work for ITV in the UK; Lion Country continues to broadcast worldwide to huge audiences.  David has also filmed for other TV networks about our work, including the BBC.  In 2010 David was awarded the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority Personality of the Year Award for conservation and environmental contributions to the industry. 

David is a graduate of Ealing and Warnborough Colleges, has studied with Oxford University, and is currently affiliated with Edinburgh University whilst completing his Masters.  He is a member of both the IUCN SSC Conservation Breeding & Reintroduction Specialist Groups.

In 2015 requested to step down as Chief Operating Officer to refocus his attention on field research.

David Youldon

Helen Rennie
Fundraising & Internships Manager

Helen visited ALERT in Africa as a volunteer in 2010 before offering her help to the charity later that year.  Based in the UK she continued to offer her time and energy to help until she was formally employed in 2012 to focus on fundraising for the charity and managing the ALERT Internship program.

Helen Rennie

Torie Hilley
Principal Researcher – Dambwa Release Pride, Livingstone, Zambia

Torie first joined ALERT as an animal management intern in 2012, during which time she undertook a lion behavioural study as part of her BSc in Animal Science at California Polytechnic State University.  In 2014 Torie joined the ALERT research team, focussing on the Ngamo release pride, before transferring to monitor the Dambwa release pride in Livingstone in mid-2015.

     Torie Hilley

Dabwiso Sakala
Researcher – Conservation Projects, Livingstone, Zambia

Dabwiso graduated from Copperbelt University in 2013 with a BSc in Wildlife Management.  He joined ALERT as a research intern in early 2015 under our fully-funded placement programme for students of African universities.  Dabwiso became a permanent member of ALERT staff in October 2015 to join our research team in Livingstone.  

     Dabwiso Sakala

Rae Kokes
Principal Researcher - Matusadona Lion Project

Rae first volunteered with ALERT in 2006 before returning as a facilitated research student in 2010.  She formally joined ALERT in 2011 as a research technician in Zimbabwe before moving to our Livingstone project site to take on the role of Project Development and Research Manager. In 2014 Rae left Zambia to return to Zimbabwe and establish ALERT’s Matusadona Lion Project.  She graduated with a BSc in Wildlife Conservation with Zoo Biology from the University of Salford and an MSc in Animal Behaviour from Manchester Metropolitan University.  She is looking to commence her Doctorate studies soon whilst undertaking research in Matusadona National Park.  Rae is also a member of the African Lion Working Group and IUCN SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group.  

Rae Kokes

Bob Mandinyenya
Principal Researcher - Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Bob joined ALERT in 2010 for one year as part of his university course.  Having graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Forest Resources and Wildlife Management from the National University of Science and Technology [NUST], Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Bob rejoined ALERT in 2012 and now operates our research and conservation efforts in the Zambezi National Park in Zimbabwe.  Bob is undertaking his MPhil studies in Rangeland Ecology also with NUST. In October last year he presented the concept note of the MPhil and it was accepted and now he is currently doing his data collection.


Bob Mandinyenya

Yvonne Gordon
Principal Researcher - Gweru, Zimbabwe

Yvonne volunteered for ALERT in 2010 and joined the charity as research technician on a contract basis for six month periods in 2011, 2012 and 2013.  She returned again in 2014 and is currently continuing data collection with the Ngamo release pride at our Antelope Park project base in Gweru in Central Zimbabwe.  Yvonne has recently completed Animal Behaviour studies with Oxford University.

Yvonne Gordon

Staben Porovha
Teacher at the ALERT Education Centre - Gweru, Zimbabwe

Staben joined the ALERT Education Centre in December 2012 and teaches students  "Conservation Basics".  Staben studied elements of conservation in his Physical and Human Geography subjects during his Advanced Levels in high school.  Next year, Staben plans to further his education and passion for conservation and will be attending university to study conservation related programs. Spending time with the children at the Boys Orphanage has inspired me to take up a certificate course in 'Community Based work with Children and Youth' at University of  Kwa-Zulu Natal. When not teaching at the AEC, Staben is also a role model and mentor for the boys at Midlands Children's Hope Centre where he assists the boys with their homework and studies.

Staben Provha

Alanna Wallace
Community Projects Manager - Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Alanna graduated with a BA (Hons) in Political Science and Global Studies from Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada, and later completed an MSc in Global Development Challenges from the University of Edinburgh. She has also completed a number of postgraduate certificates in Global Health and African and International Development from the University of Edinburgh.

Alanna first became involved in development work when she volunteered with our partners African Impact in South Africa several times before joining the company in 2011.  Between 2011 and 2014 Alanna managed community, education and healthcare development projects in rural South Africa.

Between her educational background and on-the-ground experience, Alanna is able to ensure our programs in Victoria Falls are making the greatest difference, while ensuring sustainability and longevity.

     Alanna Wallace

Rosine Mendelsohn
Community Projects Manager - Gweru, Zimbabwe

Rosine joined ALERT in 2015 with a background in charity work, and experience as a youth leader.  She says "Serving the community and helping others has always been a part of who I am; a dream, some would say a calling"

"You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you" anon

     Rosine Mendelsohn

Constance Siatwiko
Community Projects Manager - Livingstone, Zambia

A teacher by profession, Constance has a great passion to work and interact with young people. Having completed her studies in early childhood care and developmental education, she has come to understand the importance of working with kids to positively contribute to the improvement of her community.  Imparting knowledge and skills in the lives of young people is her number one motivation; knowing that she is part of the greatness that these kids will become

     Constance Siatwiko




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