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Frankfurt Zoological Society - (FZS)



FZS is a non-governmental organisation whose Goal is to work with and for people to secure biodiversity in key ecosystems worldwide. FZS has run and financed field conservation projects worldwide for 50 years and has a long history of successful partnership with incountry stakeholders, for example those in Tanzania, due to its long-term commitment to key areas. FZS is registered as an NGO in both Tanzania and Ethiopia and its Africa Regional Office is hosted by the Serengeti National Park of Tanzania.


Karen Laurenson

Karen Laurenson is Africa Programme Manager for FZS. She is an experienced researcher and conservation manager of some 20 years standing and has conducted research on large carnivores in both Tanzania and Ethiopia over a period of 20 years. She has published ~50 papers in peer-reviewed journals including in Science and Nature. She manages FZS projects in Ethiopia and Tanzania, directing support for protected areas and monitoring and research. She has extensive contacts amongst research, conservation and development professionals in both countries.

Deborah Randall

Deborah Randall is the Monitoring and Research Technical Advisor for FZS-Africa. She conducted her doctoral research on population demography of the Ethiopian wolf and has published ~10 papers in peer reviewed journals including in Nature. She directs and facilitates research in the Bale Mountains and has trained project and partner staff on census and research techniques for mountain nyala, other large ungulates, carnivores and all aspects of ecosystem monitoring. She is also developing and implementing the Bale Mountains Ecosystem Monitoring Plan.


Zelealem Tefera

Zelealem Tefera is the Country Representative for FZS-Ethiopia. He conducted his doctoral research in community-based natural resource management and now implements a conservation management project to support community-managed Afro alpine areas in Ethiopia. As a senior wildlife conservationist in Ethiopia, he has excellent standing and contacts in all section of government in Ethiopia. Tefara is a UK Darwin Initiative Fellow and Honorary Research Fellow at the Oxford University's Wildlife Conservation Research Unit.

Alastair Nelson

Alastair Nelson was formerly the Chief Technical Advisor for the FZS-Bale Mountains Conservation Project and Country Representative for FZS-Ethiopia. He worked in the Bale Mountains for 5 years after a varied background in wildlife research and conservation. He has a strong knowledge of the background issues and stakeholders in the project area. From June 2007 he will be taking up a new post as Chief Technical Advisor for the EU-funded Serengeti Ecosystem Management Project in Tanzania which will be developing community-based conservation initiatives including community-managed hunting.

Dennis Rentsch

Dennis Rentsch is the FZS Technical Advisor on the EU-funded Serengeti Ecosystem Management Project. As such he is responsible for liasing with communities and stakeholders, including those involved with hunting in that ecosystem. He works closely with the Wildlife Division of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, who are responsible for regulating hunting in Tanzania.  He is also currently completing his PhD on bushmeat hunting in the greater Serengeti Ecosystem.


Degu Tadie

Degu Tadie is a project officer for FZS. He conducted his MSc research on the challenges of Grevy’s zebra in the pastoral dominated areas in Chew Bahir and Sarite, southern Ethiopia. He is responsible for the overall implementation of HUNTing for sustainability in Africa project in Ethiopia (HUSA-ET) by undertaking research as per the objectives of the project. He was previously the Manager of WildCODE (local NGO working on community conservation activities in Ethiopia) and has experience working with the local pastoralist communities as well as conservation authorities in Ethiopia. 

Loiruck C. Naiman 

Loi is a country project officer for implementation of the HUNTing for sustainability project in Tanzania (HUSA-TZ), working with Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS), Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI) and other project partners. He graduated in Wildlife Management - Conservation, and has work experience from the tourism industry.

He also worked in the Dunia Moja Project, a globally distributed environmental awareness project, through communicating local communities’ knowledge on climate change to faculty staff, partners and donors. This has given him good experience working with local, national and international organizations.


Yitbarek Tibebe Weldesemaet

A research officer at Frankfurt Zoological Society. Yitbarek has previously been working as Ecological Monitoring Technical Advisor for the Afro-alpine Ecosystem Conservation project in the Northern Ethiopia, and as consultant for various projects in Ethiopia.