Who We Are

Management Committee

TRUSTEES: click on the name to view profile

Dr Marion Garaï (Chair ) - 082 979 3800

MSc in Zoology, thesis on the “Social Behaviour of Elephants in Captivity” at the University of Zürich, Switzerland. Several years of studying zoo elephants. PhD from the University of Pretoria, South Africa 1998, dissertation on ‘The Development of Social and Stress Related Behaviours of Translocated Juvenile Elephants’; Member of the IUCN/SCC African Elephant Specialist Group since 1994. Elephant coordinator for the Rhino & Elephant Foundation during 1996.Acting Chairperson of the Rhino, Elephant and Wildlife Foundation during 2000. Founder of the Translocated Elephant Information Centre (TEIC) in 1992, which was incorporated into the Elephant Management & Owners Association - EMOA- in 1994.  Chairperson of EMOA from 1994 - 2006. During 1996 and 1997 several research projects on traumatised juvenile elephant orphans at the Pinnawela Orphanage in Sri Lanka. Author and co-author of several papers and books on elephant behaviour.Consultant of the European Elephant Group.Trustee of Space for Elephants Foundation since 2001 and Chairperson thereof from 2005 – 2016.

Dr Yolanda Pretorius (Vice Chair) - 084 604 4440

BSc(Agric) Animal Science, BSc(Hons) Wildlife Management with thesis on feed supplement for African elephant on a fenced game reserve (2001), University of Pretoria, South Africa; MSc in Biology with thesis on stress in African elephant on a fenced game reserve (2002-2003), University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa; PhD in Ecology with thesis on small scale foraging by large African herbivores (2005-2009), Wageningen University, the Netherlands. Elephant monitor for Ezemvelo KZN parks at Ithala Game Reserve during 2004. Manager of Magudu Game Reserve’s disease free buffalo breeding program and elephant and rhino monitoring project during 2010. Research assistant at Mabula Private Game Reserve on cheetah re-introduction and human-elephant conflict resolution projects between 2011 and 2013. Lecturer in Wildlife ecology and management at the Centre for Wildlife Management, University of Pretoria since 2013.


Dr. Michelle Henley - 071 006 3900

Michelle as worked on topics involving elephant ecology, behaviour & reproductive physiology for some 20 years. She completed her PhD on the sex- and age-related feeding distinctions in the African elephant. In 2003 Michelle co-founded Elephants Alive (previously known as Save the Elephants South Africa). For the past 12 years she has monitored elephant movements and their social interactions through a GPS satellite collar tracking and identification study throughout the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park. She has published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, popular publications and has contributed towards various books. She has written and illustrated popular book chapters, a brochure and a children's book. She is a registered Post-doctoral Fellow registered at the Applied Behavioural Ecology and Environmental Research Unit of the University of South Africa.  In 2009 she received her Post Graduate Certificate in Education (with distinction) in order to be equipped to teach Intermediate and Senior Phase School children about the Environment. In 2013 she received the Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa’s National Award for an individual. In 2016 she was the runner up to the Mail and Guardian, Greening the Future Awards for both the Species and Biodiversity Stewardship categories and a finalist in the Tusk Conservationist Leadership Awards.


Dr Andrew Blackmore - 082 908 5888

Andrew has a PhD in Environmental Law from Tilburg University in the Netherlands (2018), a Master of Science in Ecology University from the Witwatersrand (1992), Master of Laws (Environmental Law) cum laude from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg (2005) and a Diploma in Multilateral Agreements University of Finland (2011). Andrew is a Research Associate at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and an extraordinary Senior Lecturer at the University of the North West and is a registered Professional Natural Scientist in conservation science. He holds the position of Manager: Conservation Planning at Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, South Africa. Previously he was the Regional Ecologist for the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park (now iSimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site). He has a combined experience of 30 years in conservation and wildlife research and management advice and 15 years’ experience in environmental, wildlife and conservation law advice and assessment.


Mr Chris Galliers

BSc Grassland Science and Ethno-Botany at University of KZN (1999). Has cumulatively been working in conservation for over a decade and involved in a diversity of conservation projects. These have included managing a game ranch, large mammal game capture, lecturing (game ranch management), eco-tourism, protected area management effectiveness assessments, biosphere reserves, biodiversity stewardship, conservation project management and working on environmental governance issues. Chris has been with WESSA, one of South Africa’s largest and oldest environmental NGOs, since 2008 where he is a senior manager, overseeing the organisations Wildlife and Conservation Initiatives which includes the WESSA Elephant Initiative. Is currently on the National Elephant Research Steering Committee and also Chairman of the Game Rangers Association of Africa (GRAA) and the African Representative for the International Ranger Federation (IRF).



Dr Lucy Bates

BA (Hons) Psychology and Zoology (2000) and MSc Human Biology (2001), both University of Oxford, with BA dissertation on the role of social learning in foraging behaviour and MSc thesis on the association patterns of female chimpanzees in Budongo Forest, Uganda. PhD in behavioural ecology, from the University of St Andrews, with thesis on foraging and travel behaviour of chimpanzees (2005).Post-doctoral research at University of St Andrews studying the social behaviour and cognition of elephants in Amboseli, Kenya. Currently a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Sussex, continuing studies on elephant behaviour, intelligence and welfare. Authored over 20 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters on elephant behaviour and intelligence, and the evolution of intelligence in animals and humans.

Professor Rob Slotow

Professor Slotow obtained his PhD in Biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1993. He was appointed Lecturer at UKZN in Durban in 1996, Senior Lecturer (2000), Associate Professor (2002), and Full Professor (2007). He is an Honorary Professor at University College, London. His Academic leadership includes: Programme Director B.Sc. Biol. Sc. (2002-04); Academic Coordinator, School Biological and Conservation Sciences (2005-08); Deputy Dean, Faculty of Science & Agriculture (2008-09); Deputy Vice Chancellor & Head of College, Agriculture, Engineering, & Science (2010-12); Deputy Vice Chancellor and Head of College of Health Sciences (2012-2017). Pro-Vice Chancellor African City of the Future (2018-2023). Professor Slotow received the Vice Chancellor’s Research Award (2000) for outstanding research for staff <40 yrs.

His major research has been on large mammal conservation and conservation and environmental decision-making. His experience in Health Science Leadership has provided opportunities for transdisciplinary research spanning Agriculture, Environment, Poverty and Health. Professor Slotow focuses on a relevant transdisciplinary research programme, which will have strong impact on society. He works closely with practitioners to develop the research agenda, and include them in the process to ensure take-up of the research outcomes into evidence-based best practice.

Professor Slotow has undertaken research on elephants in reserves across South Africa, incorporating his understanding of Behavioural Ecology into better understanding management of elephants, especially the consequences (and unintended consequences) of direct interventions on their behaviour and welfare.



Mr Johan Kruger












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