Louisa Richmond-Coggan

Dean, African Leadership University, School of Wildlife Conservation
  • African Leadership University, School of Wildlife Conservation
  • Member directory
  • Rwanda

About Louisa Richmond-Coggan

I have nineteen years of international experience in the field of conservation both in situ and ex-situ. From an early age, I have been passionate and intrigued by the natural world. My love of African wildlife and the continent they live in has shaped the person I am today and in turn the direction my professional career has taken. From my first visit to Tanzania to my current work in Namibia, I have come to understand the multifaceted relationship between wildlife and people. It cannot be denied that people are the root cause of a species decline but they are also the key to a species survival as well; this is my focus. Every one of my projects has grown my understanding of this relationship. I do this by taking the time to sit and talk to the people who are impacted by wildlife to generate real-world solutions. As a conservation scientist, I believe we should always be asking the key question ‘How can people and wildlife coexist?’ In 2016, I realised that to establish practices which affect real conservation results in time frames that address challenges before they become irretrievable, conservationists need to be more innovative, flexible and collaborative in their approach than we have traditionally been. My solution to this was to become an independent ecological consultant, able to work where and when I was required and, crucially, with all stakeholders and not just the ones my views were aligned with and in 2017 I started LRC Wildlife Conservation. In November 2020 I became the Dean for the School of Wildlife Conservation at the African Leadership University based in Kigali, Rwanda. As Dean, I am responsible for designing and implementing the School’s academic curriculum for undergraduate, MBA, and professional development programmes. Strengthening the faculty team and providing academic leadership for the School’s growing student body. The ALU School of Wildlife Conservation is an initiative of the African Leadership Group established to catalyse innovation and growth in Africa’s conservation sector. This is because we recognise Wildlife Conservation as one of Africa’s great opportunities and competitive advantages. We see the sector’s potential to drive sustainable ecological and economic development on the continent.

Which category below best describes the type of organisation you currently work for/or run?

Academic or Research Institute

Areas of expertise

Monitoring and evaluation Other Partnerships and collaboration development Project/programme management Research Species Management

Would you be willing to be approached and share your lessons learned in your area(s) of expertise with our community?


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Recent Comments

What a fantastic idea, thank you for sharing!

Replying to Thirza Loffeld

Hi Louisa, thank you for sharing your journey with us; it's wonderful to read where your conservation career has taken you! Amazing photos also. Your words on how collaboration is key to achieving conservation goals resonated with me. I think this point also comes up regularly in our members' reflections when they post their lessons learned. Feel free to add your lessons learned in one of our channels (perhaps the capacity building channel would be suitable?) and there is a new activity that we will be starting soon, called WildHub Fika, which may provide support while you wait to return to Namibia. Have a nice day! 

Hi Thriza, thank you for the positive feedback on my intro, it really is appreciated! I have signed up to WildHub Fika, I think that it is a great initiative. Listening to Lindsey on the interview I was transported back to my days in Cambridge, we all used to meet weekly in a pub after work. It was a great way to get to know your fellow colleagues, to chat about our work, what we were all doing and possible overlaps and collaborations. When I left Cambridge, it was hard to leave this dynamic group and the buzz of our pub chats. I also really felt outside of the loop especially when you hear way down the line about new initiatives, collaborations and big ideas. It is great therefore that WildHub and Fika have created a fantastic opportunity for people everywhere to be connected so everyone can always be in the loop!