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. Jaqueline 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 currently affiliated with Coventry University and is a member of the IUCN SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist 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

Jacqueline Kirk
Principal Researcher – Livingstone, Zambia

Jacqui volunteered with ALERT in 2007 and formally joined the organization later the same year.  Jacqui has focussed on research of the release prides during her time with ALERT, spending many thousands of hours observing the lions, and now their cubs; collecting vital data to inform the reintroduction program.  She has also spearheaded our research programs on elephants in Zambia over the past 4 years.  Jacqui is currently affiliated with Oxford University.

Jacqui Kirk

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 her current role. Rae has 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.  Rae is a member of the IUCN SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group.  Rae also created and launched World Lion Day in 2013, the first global conservation campaign for lions. 

Rae Kokes

Bob Mandinenya
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 looking to commence his MPhil studies soon.

Bob Mandinyenya

Victoria Hilley
Research Technician – Gweru, Zimbabwe

Torie first joined ALERT as an intern.  Se returned the following year as a facilitated research student as part of her Animal Science course at California Polytechnic State University.  She returns again in 2014 to continue data collection with the Ngamo release pride at our Antelope Park project base in Gweru in central Zimbabwe.

Torie Hilley

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.

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




Facilitated Research

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