Wildlife Protection Project Coordinator
Jessica was born and raised in the quaint lowveld town Tzaneen. After matriculating from Merensky High School in 2011, she went on to pursue a career in the arts at Stellenbosch University, with the hopes of specializing in theatrical script writing. Within two months the young, scientifically minded bushveld girl realized that life in a dark theatre was not the lifestyle she had envisioned for herself as she found solace in being outdoors in nature. After completing a year of BA (Drama Tech), she moved over to the science department where she completed her undergraduate degree in Biodiversity and Ecology. Hereafter, she was awarded a bursary to help assess the ecological health status of the Eastern Cape Forests, focusing specifically on medicinal plant use and conservation (ethnobotany).
After having spent 5 years in the Cape, Jess returned back to her beloved bushveld in 2017 where she completed a three-month ecological research internship at Somkhanda Game Reserve before being employed by Welgevonden Game Reserve to manage and co-ordinate a very exciting research project which will hopefully contribute towards the fight against rhino poaching. She hopes to eventually obtain a Master’s degree in Scientific Communications so as to bridge the gap between science and the community, and eventually do what she is most passionate about – write.