Research student testimonials

“It has been a dream and life-long ambition for me to work with lions in the African bush. Even before starting my post-grad I knew I wanted to conduct my own lion behavioural study, so when I was told about ALERT’s Facilitated Research Program, I was over the moon.

Working in the pristine Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park felt like a scene from Out Of Africa.  I was lucky enough to carry out my study on three groups of cubs at the project, and spent numerous cherished hours with them.  The data I collected was invaluable; nowhere else would I have had access to such important raw behavioural data. It was also very humbling to know that my work would eventually be in aid of a pioneering conservation project, and to see the passion of the people working there was inspirational.

Every day staff and volunteers were raring to go, smiles all round.

I would not hesitate for a second to recommend ALERT’s Facilitated Research Program. If someone is looking to pursue an education or career in conservation, this is the program for them.“                               

Hannah Rae Kokes, MSc,  Manchester Metropolitan University


"Deciding to undertake a postgraduate thesis was a huge life decision for me and the whole process seemed quite overwhelming at first. I had an idea of what I wanted to do, but turning that into a viable research study was a daunting prospect. Given that my field work was to take place in Africa my university was limited in how much support they could provide.

The team at ALERT were hugely helpful as I prepared for my study. Their thorough understanding of the animals that they work with and the environment that they operate in was incredibly useful to me in establishing my methodology and making sure that it would really work on the ground. They handled all the logistical arrangements for me and have been incredibly supportive as I have embarked on this journey.

I would highly recommend ALERT to anyone interested in carrying out a research study in Africa.

Lisa Clifforde, MPhil, Exeter University


"Before I even arrived at university I knew that I wanted to do my dissertation on lion conservation in Africa. After months of searching in my second year, ALERT’s facilitated research program in Livingstone, Zambia, provided the perfect opportunity for me to pursue my passion for lions, and somehow make it fit within a Geography dissertation!

My research was broad, allowing me to get a full overview and experience of the project. ALERT ensured I was able to interview a range of people including: a national politician, a head chief, local farmers and a group of school children with their headmaster. Being able to have in-depth and honest conversations with such a variety of people, inside and outside the project, was an incredibly rewarding, invaluable and unique experience, and one that wouldn’t have been possible without the organisation and support of ALERT.

The opportunity to carry out your research within a structured framework, in Africa, with your work also contributing to an exciting and critical conservation project, is not something worth missing out on. Why do a dissertation at home, when you can do it walking with lions on the banks of the Zambezi river?"

Chris Goodman, Oxford University