Rowan grew up in Zambia and spent her weekends exploring Mopani woodlands along the banks of the Kafue river, where she developed a passion for nature. On weekends her father would take part in anti-poaching patrols and would return home with a vehicle full of illegal bushmeat and charcoal, opening her eyes to the devastating impact of poaching and deforestation on protected areas. As Rowan grew older, she realised poverty was often a driving factor in this unsustainable exploitation of Zambia’s natural resources and that successful conservation required a multifaceted approach, an important part of which was sound research. After school, she spent time in Zambia volunteering at a game reserve and a chimpanzee sanctuary.
Rowan went on to complete her BSc Honours in Zoology and Conservation at Bangor University in Wales. As part of this degree, she conducted research in Swaziland on the impact of range expansion on the behaviour of elephants. Her passion for African wildlife and conservation led her to the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology for her Masters degree.
In her free time Rowan enjoys camping, photography and volunteering.