I have always been fascinated by wildlife and wild places since my childhood. Growing up in a rural community in Nigeria, I had the first-hand opportunity to interact with nature. Unfortunately, during my early teenage years, these places were fast disappearing, including the wild animals that lived in them. This was my motivation to study Forestry and Wildlife Management for my bachelor’s degree. After my degree in Nigeria, I completed the Durrell Endangered Species Management Graduate Certificate at the Durrell Wildlife Academy in Jersey, United Kingdom (validated by the University of Kent), and an MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management at the University of Oxford. Focused on Cross River gorilla conservation in the Cross River rainforest, I worked for the Wildlife Conservation Society, Nigeria for about two years prior to my MSc.
During my Ph.D. in Zoology, I seek to understand the population dynamics and ecology of three pangolin species in Nigeria. My research also aims to understand the role Nigeria plays in the trade of pangolins which are currently the most illegally traded mammals. This study will shed important new light on the drivers and characteristics of the trade in pangolins in Nigeria which will be useful in implementing behavioural change interventions and enforcement actions against the trade.