WildTrack was founded in 2004 by Zoe Jewell and Sky Alibhai, a veterinarian and wildlife biologist who had been working for many years in Africa monitoring black and white rhino. While in Zimbabwe, in the early 1990’s, they collected and presented data to show that invasive monitoring techniques used for black rhino were negatively impacting on female fertility, and began to develop a footprint identification technique. Interest from researchers around the world who needed a cost-effective and non-invasive approach to wildlife monitoring sparked WildTrack.
WildTrack 501(c)3 Founders
President and co-Founder. Zoe Jewell (President). M.Sc. (LSHTM, London) MA., Vet. M.B. (Univ. of Cambridge). M.R.C.V.S.
Zoe Jewell has a B.Sc. in Zoology/Physiology, an M.Sc in Medical Parasitology from the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (London University) and a veterinary medical degree from Cambridge University. She is a consultant for Animal Consultants International on matters relating to wild animal monitoring and welfare and a member of the Society for Conservation Biology. She has published on wild animal monitoring using non-invasive approaches and animal monitoring ethics. She is currently a Principal Research Associate at the JMP division of the SAS Institute, an adjunct professor at the Dept. of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at North Carolina State University, an adjunct associate professor at the Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, and an associate academic at the Centre for Compassionate Conservation at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia.
Director and co-Founder. Sky Alibhai, B.Sc. (Makerere, Uganda) D.Phil (Zoology, Univ. of Oxford)
Sky Alibhai has a B.Sc. in Zoology from Makerere University, Uganda, and a D.Phil in small mammal population dynamics from the University of Oxford. He is a fellow of the Zoological Society of London and a member of the Society of Conservation Biology. He has published widely on wild animal monitoring using non-invasive approaches. He is currently a Principal Research Associate at the JMP division of the SAS Institute, an adjunct professor at the Dept. of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at North Carolina State University, an adjunct associate professor at the Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, and an associate academic at the Centre for Compassionate Conservation at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia.
WildTrack Board of Directors (alphabetical order)
Legal Officer: James Baker B.S., J.D. Attorney at Law
Jim is an attorney with the law firm of Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Garofalo LLP in Raleigh, North Carolina. Prior to entering private practice, Jim had a judicial clerkship with the Hon. John R. Jolly, Jr. at the North Carolina Business Court. Jim earned a J.D. from UNC Chapel Hill in 2008 and received a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration. He currently lives in Carrboro, North Carolina with his wife Emily and son Quentin.
Accounting Officer: Laurie Durham, BA. Finance Director, SAS.
I graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from North Carolina State University in 1989. I am a Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Global Management Accountant. I worked in the audit d ivision of Ernst & Young for five years and was then hired by SAS Institute where I have worked for twenty+ years in the Finance division. I am currently a Finance Director with a variety of responsibilities. I manage the US Accounts Receivable, US Project Accounting, and Intercompany teams at SAS Corporate HQ. My team is also responsible for worldwide Finance policies and for legal reporting on a consolidated basis in accordance with US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. I believe in giving back to the community and participate in various volunteer opportunities including serving as treasurer for a mission-based biking group, volunteering at the SPCA, and participating in national and international mission trips.
Charles Hall graduated from NCSU with a BSc in Computer Science (that was back in punch card days!). After that he spent five years working in agriculture (Cotton Inc., USDA Boll Weevil Eradication Trial Program), then two and a half years at NorTel, or as it was then known, Northern Telecom. He then spent four years developing software for the H.E.L.P. system at Rex Hospital. During this time he also taught C and Snobol classes at NCSU for several semesters. Seven years at the News & Observer included time writing programs for the pre-press and classified departments and then support of the pioneering Nando internet hosting service and website. Just prior to coming to SAS, he spent three and a half years at Total Sports, a now defunct dotcom. He has been at SAS in the intranet support team since 2000. Volunteer activity has included several years on the board of directors of the Raleigh City Museum and three years supporting the EV Challenge website (a competition for high school electric car builders). He currently supports the Wild Track website.
Marketing officer: Diana Levey, M.A. Marketing Director, SAS Institute, North Carolina.
A communications professional since 1989, Diana Levey is currently Marketing Director for SAS, where she manages marketing communications globally for the JMP division of the Cary, NC-based software company. Levey was the founding editor of sascom, the award-winning flagship magazine of SAS. Levey’s involvement with WildTrack began with a data collection project of tiger paw prints in 2002, where she met and worked with the group’s founders. Levey’s first professional communications position was with Animals magazine, published by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. It was there that she took a keen interest in animal conservation, seeking opportunities to write for and about animal welfare. As a freelance writer and photographer, Levey’s work has been published by the Smithsonian Institution, U.S. Committee for UNICEF and the Los Angeles Zoo. Levey earned a Master’s of Technical and Professional Writing from Northeastern University, Boston, in 1991, and received a Bachelor’s of Arts in English with a Biology Minor from Barton College in Wilson, NC, in 1988. She is a native of Morehead City, NC, and is a certified scuba diver.
Technology Officer: John Russ, M.S. Ph.D. Professor Emeritus, NCSU College of Engineering, North Carolina
In his fifty-year career and scientist and educator, John Russ has used image processing and analysis as a principal tool for understanding and characterizing the structure and function of materials. Images from a wide variety of devices – including light and electron microscopes, x-ray and neutron tomography, and more – require computer processing and measurement to extract the important data. Much of Russ’ research work has been concerned with the microstructure and surface topography of metals, ceramics, and textiles, but he has also collaborated with students and researchers in many areas of the life sciences, food science, and archaeology. He is widely recognized as an expert in image analysis, and has published numerous papers and textbooks in the field. On November 16, 2006, the New York Microscopical Society awarded John Russ the Ernst Abbe Memorial Award for his contributions to the field of microscopy as a developer of computer-assisted microscopy and image analysis.
Field Conservation Officer: Rudolf Jansen Van Vuuren. M.B. B.S. Medical Practitioner and Wildlife Conservationist, Namibia.
Rudie has been working as a medical doctor in Namibia for more than a decade. He has also competed for the country in both cricket and rugby World Cups and enjoys flying his CESNA 182 during his limited free time. Since his marriage with his wife Marlice, the conservation and research of vulnerable and threatened Namibian wildlife has become increasingly more important in his life and together the couple started the N/a’an ku sê Foundation in 2005, working in the fields of wildlife rehabilitation and research, predominantly with large predators such as cheetah, leopard, African wild dog and brown hyena. As a Managing Director of the Foundation Rudie has been intensively involved in large carnivore management and is Chairman of the Large Carnivore Management Association of Namibia. Free-ranging large carnivores are monitored on livestock properties as well as after translocation into nature reserves. In addition to the wildlife focus, the Foundation established a medical clinic as well as a pre-primary school to support the indigenous San community of Namibia. In 2012, Rudie stepped away from his medical career to devote all his efforts and attention towards wildlife management and conservation medicine. N/a’an ku sê is collaborating with WildTrack in the development of new, and less invasive, carnivore tracking techniques.
WildTrack Principal Research Affiliates
Peter R Law. B. Sc. (Sydney) D. Phil. (Mathematics, Univ. of Oxford).
Pete Law is resident in NY State and undertakes independent mathematical and ecological modelling research. His work with Wildtrack has led to his keen interest in the application of tracking to scientific studies and its practice. Through the affiliation with Wildtrack, he has had the opportunity to engage in field work in southern Africa, Borneo, and the Canadian arctic. Additionally, he is engaged in applying his mathematical training to analyze problems in biology, particularly through modelling. Current projects include modelling population dynamics and conservation strategies.
Jonah Evans. M.S (Texas A&M). Texas Parks & Wildlife Diversity Biologist.
Jonah Evans is the west Texas Diversity (non-game) Biologist for Texas Parks and Wildlife. He conducts research, conservation, and restoration projects on a wide variety of species. He is also the state coordinator for mountain lions and black bears. Jonah has extensive experience with animal track identification and as a certified CyberTracker Evaluator, he has led numerous workshops and certifications . He also wrote a field guide to animal tracks for the iPhone and iPad called “iTrack Wildlife”. Jonah began working with WildTrack to develop a mountain lion database in 2009 and collected track photos from 37 captive mountain lions which has formed the foundation database for this species. Jonah is currently working to develop field trials to field test FIT for the the mountain lion.
Tom is an independent research scientist working at the intersection of computer graphics, computer vision and signal processing and has developed the techniques of Reflectance Transformation, Polynomial Texture Mapping (PTM) and Fourier Volume Rendering. His PTM methods are used by the National Gallery in London, the Tate Gallery and in the fields of criminal forensics, paleontology and archeology. Tom is on the program committees for several 3D graphics and vision conferences. Working with USC and Wildtrack, he is applying computer vision and image processing techniques to automate and simplify footprint identification using FIT.
More information can be found at http://www.hpl.hp.com/personal/Tom_Malzbender/ .
Namita Lokare. PhD student, NC State University.
Namita is currently pursuing her PhD at NC State, and formerly worked on contour detection in medical images at USC. She is now working on techniques to automate and simplify footprint identification using FIT with Dr Edgar Lobaton’s group at NC State University.
John Ponte, Software Developer, SAS Institute
John is a software developer specializing in graphics, visualizations, image processing and mapping. His work has appeared in movies, magazine covers and text books and has been presented at technical conferences. By day, John is a mild-mannered developer, developing visualizations for JMP – an interactive statistical discovery product of SAS Institute. In his spare time over the last few years, he has worked with WildTrack to develop software algorithms and methods for helping to identify animal footprints in an automated fashion.
Dr Florian J Weise, CLAWS conservancy, Botswana
Florian started his wildlife career with work on elephants in east Africa. Since early 2008 he has been the head researcher of the N/a’an ku se large carnivore monitoring programme in Namibia which focuses on human-predator conflict on commercial farmland but also the intensive monitoring of released cheetah, leopard and hyena. As part of his wildlife monitoring, Florian has identified the need for and application of different direct and indirect tracking techniques and in the process has become involved with WildTrack to develop FIT for the cheetah. N/a’an ku se and WildTrack have collaborated on this project for four years now and co-hosted an international FIT workshop in Namibia in May 2011. The event introduced FIT as a monitoring option for the cheetah as well as for other species such as elephant, caracal and rhino. Florian continues partnership with WildTrack on several projects now.
WildTrack Graphic Designer
Steve Jenness, Artist, Graphic Artist, Photographer, Videographer, Writer.
Steve is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire with almost 30 years in the graphic arts field. His affiliation with Wildtrack began as a Rhinowatch volunteer during the 1997 field season in Zimbabwe, continued as a field assistant in Zimbabwe and Namibia, and continues as needed to this day. His logo design was inspired by having been in the field. “It just felt right.” Steve is also an avid historian and team leader with the Pompeii Food and Drink project in Pompeii, Italy. website: www.stevejenness.com