Keynote speakers

Richard D. Estes

Richard is a biologist specialising in the behaviour of mammals in mainland Africa. He is particularly interested in studying wildebeest. This interest lead Rod East, the former cochair of the Antelope Specialist Group of the IUCN-World Conservation Union, to dub him the 'Guru of Gnu'. It has been suggested that Richard is responsible for most of the world's knowledge of wildebeest behaviour.

Jonathan Kingdon

Jonathan is a zoologist, science author, and artist, a research associate at the University of Oxford. He focuses on taxonomic illustrations and evolution of the mammals of Africa.


David Mallon

David is Co-Chair of the IUCN Antelope Specialist Group and a member of the Giraffe and Okapi SG as well as the IUCN Red List Committee and IUCN Species Conservation Planning Sub-committee. He is a large mammal ecologist and studied the snow leopard and wild sheep and goats in the Himalaya for his master's and doctoral theses. He is a Research Fellow in the Division of Biology and Conservation Biology at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK and a Conservation Fellow of the Zoological Society of London.

David will attend the conference with the support of Marwell Zoo. 

Pedro Vaz Pinto

Pedro is Angolan conservationist who dedicated his life to the critically endangered giant sable antelope Hippotragus niger variani. Since 2003, Pedro has coordinated the Giant Sable project in Angola, although his general insterests and areas of research are antelope ecology and conservation, genetics, ornithology, and herpetology. Pedro is on his final year for a PhD in Conservation Biology at University of Porto, Portugal.

Pedro will attend the conference with the support of Dvůr Králové Zoo.  

Julian Fennessy

With a PhD on the ecology of the desert-dwelling giraffe in northwest Namibia, Dr. Julian Fennessy is the first executive director of Giraffe Conservation Foundation - the world's only dedicated giraffe conservation organization. Julian is also co-chair of the IUCN SSC Giraffe and Okapi Specialist Group.

Julian will attend the conference with the support of Prague Zoo.

Mark Stanley Price 

Mark Stanley Price is a career zoologist and conservationist, with a lifelong interest in antelopes. He studied Coke's hartebeest in Kenya for his D.Phil., and then researched the comparative ecology and behaviour of domesticated fringe-eared oryx in Kenya. From there he designed and led the first efforts to restore the Arabian oryx to the wilds of Oman. After seven years in the desert, he ran the African Wildlife Foundation's African operations for twelve years, and was then chief executive of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Jersey for seven years. Since 2008, he has been a Senior Research Associate at WildCRU, the University of Oxford.

He was founder Chair of the SSC Reintroduction Specialist Group 1988-2000. He is a Conservation Fellow of ZSL, Chair of the SSC Species Conservation Planning Sub-Committee, Vice-Chair of the Marwell Wildlife Board, tTustee of the Sahara Conservation Fund, and on the Advisory Council of the World Land Trust. He has recently become Chair of the Friends of Kenya Wildlife Trust-UK.

Despite encouraging species planning for diverse taxa around the world in recent years, Mark remains true to his fondness for antelopes, in all their diversity and adaptations, and for their critical ecological importance.

Mark will attend the conference with the support of Al -Bustan Zoo

Rebecca Lewison

Rebecca is a conservation ecologist and an Associate Professor at San Diego State University (SDSU). She also serves as Director for the Institute for Ecological Management and Monitoring, a multi-disciplinary research institute at SDSU. Dr. Lewison began her hippo research as a PhD. student at University of California, Davis, studying foraging behavior and population dynamics of hippos in Tanzani. She began working with the IUCN Species Specialist Commission and became chair of the Hippo Specialist Group in 1999.

Rebecca will attend the conference with the support of Ostrava Zoo.

Abdullahi Ali 

Abdullahi Ali is the Founder and Executive Director of the Hirola Conservation Programme (HCP). Ali holds a PhD in Ecology from the University of Wyoming and is mainly interested in wildlife ecology and conservation with special focus on endangered species conservation. For his PhD dissertation, Ali studied the mechanisms underlying hirola range collapse and demography in Eastern Kenya. Hirola occur exclusively on the Kenya-Somali border outside formally protected areas and past work on hirola conservation has been stymied due to biological knowledge gaps, with researchers shying away from this geographic region of civil unrest. Abdullahi Ali is an ethnic Somali, and has been able to conduct intensive field studies on hirola because of his background. Ali is member of the IUCN/SSC Antelope Specialist Group, named a World Conservation Fellow (by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other groups), and work as a fellow for the Zoological Society of London's EDGE (Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered) group. With a global population size of < 500 individuals, the hirola is the world's most endangered antelope having exhibited ongoing declines since the 1970s. Results from Ali's work are currently being implemented by conservation agencies to save hirola from extinction. In all of his effort, Ali is striving to ensure his work translate into practical conservation solutions for hirola.

Markéta Antonínová

Markéta completed her PhD at the University of Life Sciences in Prague. Her career on the African continent began with research in Senegal on Derby eland ecology followed by work in Ethiopia on Swayne`s hartebeest ecology. After her academic experience, Markéta decided to live in Africa and lived and worked extensively in DR Congo (Garamba NP) and Chad (Zakouma NP) where she focused mainly on wildlife research and monitoring, especially elephants, protected area management and law enforcement implementation. Today she lives in South Sudan, working for the Wildlife Conservation Society, implementing park management, law enforcement and wildlife anti-trafficking activities. She published several scientific articles about endangered antelope ecology and was the leading author of the first Western Derby eland studbook.

Markéta will attend the conference with the support of Liberec Zoo.

Rob Ogden

Rob is the programme director at TRACE Wildlife Forensics Network and a member of the IUCN Conservation Genetics Specialist Group. His work focuses on the application of genetic analysis to wildlife conservation, from ex situ breeding programmes to reintroductions, natural population management and wildlife law enforcement. He has a particular interest in ungulate conservation and is the current genetics advisor to the EAZA antelope and giraffe TAG.

Rob will attend the conference with the support of Marwell Zoo.

Jakob Bro-Jørgensen

Jakob is a lecturer at the University of Liverpool specializing in the ecology, behaviour and conservation of mammals, with a particular interest in antelopes. Since 1998, he has been running the Mara Herbivore Research project in Kenya, and he has worked as Programme Manager for the Bushmeat & Forest Conservation Programme of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). His conservation research has investigated the drivers of population declines in ungulates, notably climate change and overharvesting. He has particular field experience from working on topi, first during his PhD (UCL, 2001) and later as a postdoc, and elands, both the common eland (Kenya) and the giant eland (Cameroon). He is co-editor of the book "Antelope Conservation: from Diagnosis to Action" (Wiley-Blackwell, 2016).

Jakob will attend the conference with the support of Plzeň Zoo.