Conservation Biology Masters Students (2020/21)

Tom Thacker





Growing up in the United Kingdom, Tom always had a passion for the charismatic African fauna featured in the likes of National Geographic magazines and on television. Determined to end up in a career that would allow him to work with these kinds of animals, he left the UK after school to work as a naturalist in India’s Kanha National Park. This proved to be a transformative experience, simultaneously reaffirming his passion for wildlife and instilling in him the desire to play a more active role in the future of these species. Returning to the UK, Tom completed a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences at the University of Durham and later travelled to New Zealand to continue his postgraduate studies at the University of Otago. As part of his studies at Otago, he spent some time on the island of Mangaia in the South Pacific in order to carry out research on the Mangaia kingfisher, an endemic species whose population had last been recorded as declining over twenty years previously. Fortunately, his research revealed that the species was flourishing on the island and had increased significantly in the intervening years.

With these experiences behind him, Tom is eager to carry out research and advance conservation efforts on the very continent that first ignited his love for wildlife. When not pursuing wildlife with a lens, Tom is interested in exploring and learning all about ancient civilizations – and has a weakness for fast vehicles and classic cinema.