RUAHA-KATAVI LANDSCAPE PROGRAM
RUAHA-KATAVI PROGRAM STAFF
Aaron Nicholas: PROJECT DIRECTOR
Aaron has managed the WCS Ruaha-Katavi Landscape Program since Feb 2014. He has more than 21 years of experience in African conservation, he has worked previously for WCS in Rwanda and Cameroon and for other conservation organisations in Kenya, DRC and Namibia. Aaron has co-authored a number of Regional Action Plans, helped establish five new protected areas, managed transboundary relationships and is also a qualified pilot. He coordinates the WCS aerial program under SHARPP.
Michael Lesecha: ASSISTANT PROJECT DIRECTOR
Michael joined WCS in 2019. He holds a BSc in Wildlife Management from Sokoine University of Agriculture. Prior to joining WCS, Michael was a Data and Statistics Officer under the Directorate of Conservation Services at the Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority Head Quarters in Morogoro. Before this, he worked as a Wildlife Officer (Game Officer II) in Rukwa Game Reserve and as a logistics officer for Offgrid-electric Tanzania, providing affordable solar electricity to communities in Simiyu region. He has additional experience in wildlife management and biodiversity research in the Udzungwa Mountains, Ruaha, Serengeti and Saadani National Parks.
Msafiri Mgumba: ASSISTANT ECOLOGICAL COORDINATOR
Msafiri joined WCS in September 2014, having already spent 4.5 years working in the Ruaha landscape conducting research on antelopes with the University of California (Berkeley), and later, collecting data on human-carnivore conflict and carnivore ecology for the Ruaha Carnivore Project. During this time he also provided training and conservation education for local communities. Msafiri is keen to share his interest in wildlife to a wider audience and has regularly contributed to the Tanzanian magazine Kakakuona.
Montan Kalyahe: WILD DOG RESEARCHER
Monty joined WCS in 2021 to lead a status survey for African Wild Dogs across the WCS landscape. Monty holds an MSc from the Durell Institute in the UK and previously studied carnivores for the Ruaha Carnivore Project and also worked for the WWF Selous Elephant Program. He is passionate about wild dogs and spends as much as 7 months of each year in the field studying them.
Deogratius Thomas: PROJECT FINANCE MANAGER
Prior to joining WCS in 2019, Deogratius held the position of Grants and Finance Accountant for the Aga Khan Foundation in Tanzania, before which he served as Finance and Administration Officer for CARE International’s Kahama office and previously Finance Officer for the International Rescue Committee’s Tanga office. He holds an Advanced Diploma in Accountancy from the Tanzania Institute of Accountancy and has been an active member of Roots and Shoots for several years.
Fadhili Mohabe: PROJECTS MANAGER
Fadhili holds an honours degree in Business Management & Business Information Technology from the University of Gloucestershire in the UK. He joined WCS in 2015 to manage the construction of detection dog units in Dar es Salaam port and airport and is now assisting the Ruaha-Katavi program with further project management. Prior to joining WCS he has held several managerial positions in Tanzania and the UK including Administrative and Maintenance office for the Swedish Embassy, the General Manager of Mohabe Bros, Marketing and Logistics Manager for the Tanzania Trade Centre and Services Manager for Ecovert FM.
Stanley Mbilinyi: ASSISTANT LANDSCAPE PROTECTION COORDINATOR
Prior to joining WCS in 2019, Stanley was a Game Officer for the Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA), before which he held the position of Extension & Database Officer for PAMS Foundation’s Ruvuma Elephant Conservation Project. He holds a BSc in Wildlife Management from Sokoine University of Agriculture as well as certificates in BARRET radio training, basic and advanced SMART and basic ArcGIS.
Samuel Krahwinkler: CONSERVATION PILOT
Samuel joined WCS in 2017, having previously worked as a commercial pilot for BUSH BIRD Aviation in Namibia. He has a MSc in Biology from the University of Salzburg in Austria, a first degree in Chemistry from the University of Innsbruck and is a trained paramedic. He had over 1,450 hours flying before joining WCS, following flight training at the 141 Flight School in Florida including extensive experience in bush flying.
Edmund Chota: LOGISTICS AND ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER
Edmund has worked for WCS for 10 years as a logistics and administrative officer and occasional driver. Edmund provides administrative support to the Finance Officer at RKLP, as well as overseeing use and maintenance of all office equipment and property. Edmund also has experience as an electrician.
Elisha Abraham Laizer: MOBILE MECHANIC / FLEET MANAGER
Elisha joined WCS in 2018 with an impressive array of work experience and professional qualifications. Prior to joining the Ruaha-Katavi program, he worked with the United Nations for over a decade - both in South Sudan and DR Congo. Before this he was a workshop foreman for Toyota Tanzania for 4 years, having previously worked as a mechanic for Ker & Downey Safaris and Tanzania Big Game Safaris.
Kissah Yesaya: RESEARCH AND ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT
Kissah first joined WCS in 2008 for SHCP, providing administrative support for the office. After a break, she joined RKLP in 2013 providing administrative support to the Finance and Administrative team, as well as conducting data entry for the ecology team. Kissah also cooks nutritious lunches and keeps the office clean.
Iddi Songolo Ally: GRADER OPERATOR
Iddi joined WCS in 2019 bringing experience driving and operating machinery from Motomoto, Tanzania National Roads Agency (TANROADS) and the Tanzania Electrical, Mechanical and Electronics Services Agency (TEMESA). He is based in Chunya District and is responsible for grader operations in the Rungwa/Kizigo/Muhesi and Lukwati/Piti Game Reserves.
Omar Hemed: AVIATION ASSISTANT
Omar joined WCS as Aviation Assistant in October 2022. Holds an Undergraduate Degree in Wildlife Management from the College of African Wildlife Management in Mweka. Omar is responsible for helping the WCS pilot prepare the WCS aircraft for flight as well as manage data recording in flight using an icon-based tablet system.
James Kasapira: DRIVER
James joined WCS in 2017. He previously worked as Game Warden & Head Driver in Rukwa Game Reserve, before which he was a driver for National Housing Corporation (NHC). He also holds a Certificate in Wildlife from the Pasiansi Wildlife Institute.
John Chapile: OFFICE GUARD
John joined WCS in 2010 as an office guard and gardener. As well as having green fingers, he works very efficiently in maintaining cleanliness and security of the office compound.
Issaya Mpwaga: OFFICE GUARD