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Ecoexist PhD Fellows, Susanne Vogel (left) and Erin Buchholtz.

Some people already know at a young age what they want to be when they grow up, I was never one of them. Until I had to give a speech in my final year of high school and I picked the topic of overpopulations of elephants in South Africa. Since that moment I have been intrigued by situations where nature conservation and human (economic) development occur at the same time, and people and wildlife depend on the same resources. When I grew up I lived in an urban environment the Netherlands, but I always loved nature, especially animals. After high school I studied my propaedeutic year in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology at Leiden University, after which I transferred to Wageningen University where I studied both a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Forest and Nature Conservation with minors in Development Studies. The focus of my studies was on animal ecology and sustainable development, with as a main goal studying human-wildlife conflicts and crop raiding. During these studies I did research on elephants with Save the Elephants-South Africa and with the Jane Goodall Institute in Uganda, where I studied chimpanzee and baboon crop raiding. I am particularly interested in contributing towards finding ways to mitigate conflicts such as crop raiding, and look very much forward to work towards finding ways for humans and elephants to co-exist.