OUR PEOPLE

Our technical board brings a wealth of experience in many fields to help ALERT ensure that the best scientific and ideological practice is engaged throughout our programs.  

Board members sometimes have conflicting viewpoints, and do not necessarily agree with all aspects of our work, but all contribute such that ALERT is able to make the best possible decisions from the best information.  Many more people with specific technical expertise have consulted for our programs on an ad hoc basis over the years, and to them we also extend our thanks.


Dr. Pieter Kat

With degrees in biology / geology BSc from the University of Rochester, marine biology MSc from the University of Delaware and ecology and evolution MA & PhD from Johns Hopkins University, Pieter spent 10 years in Kenya establishing biological research programs at the National Museums. His work there included documentation of biodiversity in the African Great Lakes, genetic diversity among bovid populations in Uganda, Kenya & Tanzania, research on predators in the Masai Mara, and research on a variety of diseases likely to affect predators.

Pieter then spent two years at the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and at the Center of Disease Control, Atlanta, Georgia, working on rabies virus genetics, African horse sickness, and bluetongue virus among carnivores.

He was invited by the Government of Botswana to independently study lion populations for 10 years and make recommendations on their conservation and viability and is the author of over 60 scientific papers on such diverse subjects as taxonomy, ecology, genetics, reproduction and palaeontology.

I am appreciative and excited to be involved by the initiatives taken by ALERT. Through years of self-funded and determined effort, they have developed a program of re-introduction that has a very good chance of success. Predators of any description are notoriously difficult to reintroduce, but now we have at least a workable plan. The future of African lions is in African hands. Let us salute those who have been steadfast to ensure this future, and recognize that any action is better than the currently looming extinction of an African icon if we do nothing.


Professor Peter Mundy

Professor Peter Mundy of Zimbabwe’s National University of Science & Technology (NUST) attained his PhD from the University of Zimbabwe having previously studied at King’s College London.

He was scientific officer for the Endangered Wildlife Trust in Zimbabwe from 1976 to 1983 and in South Africa from 1983 to 1984. He worked as Principal Ecologist (Ornithology) with the Zimbabwean Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management from 1984 to 2003, joining the National University of Science and Technology in June of 2003 where he is acting chairman of the faculty of Forest Resources and Wildlife Management.

His many publications include five books as the author or co-author such as 'The Vultures of Africa' (1992) and 'Francois Levaillant and the Birds of Africa' (2004). He is an assistant editor of the 'Vulture News' and 'Honeyguide' journals, and an editor of the 'Zimbabwe Journal of Science and Technology'.

Peter is also winner of the 1994 Rutherford Conservation Award and co-founder of the Biodiversity Foundation for Africa.


Dr. Don Heath

Holding degrees in Zoology and Ecology, his doctorate for the University of Zimbabwe investigated the dangers of genetic drift induced by hunting.

From 1986 to 1998 Dr. Heath was a senior ecologist for Zimbabwe’s National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority responsible for safari hunting and quota setting. He has also spent many years working with the Zimbabwe’s Professional Hunter’s & Guide’s Association as chief examiner as well as serving on the governing committee.

Working with the Wildlife Research Institute from 1997 to 1998 he wrote the Departmental Quota Setting Manual and Guidelines for Sustainable Utilization, which has been adopted by Botswana and Mozambique.

The author of over 200 scientific and popular articles and one book, Nyati: The Art of Buffalo Hunting, he has been the Editor of African Hunter Magazine and Associate Editor of African Sporting since 1998.


Dr. Wigganson Matandiko

Dr. Matandiko studied for a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Zambia, School of Veterinary Medicine (1984 – 1990) and attained a Masters in Wild Animal Health at the University of London, Royal Veterinary College (1997 – 1998).  He was recently invited to participate in the U.S. Embassy’s elite Fulbright, Humphrey and United States Student Achievers Program (USAP) and has been accepted to pursue his Fulbright PhD studies in Fish and Wildlife Biology at Montana State University; his research looks at the potential interaction between predation risk, food limitation and disease.

Following graduation from the University of Zambia Dr. Matandiko worked as an assistant veterinary surgeon for a private practice in Lusaka before taking the post of State Veterinarian for the Republic of Zambia; a post he held from 1991 – 2002.  During this time he has managed district level operations, worked within the Agricultural Sector Investment Programme (ASIP), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Southern Africa Animal Disease Control Programme (SAADCP) .     

In 2002 Dr. Matandiko transferred to Botswana to take charge of the Nata veterinary district, and later the Lobatse District.  In 2009 he returned to Zambia where he joined the Zambia Wildlife Authority as Head of the Veterinary Unit.

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