Conservation Biology Masters Students (2019/2020)

Kate Sheridan




Kate always loved animals and was fascinated by the natural world. Africa was somewhere she always wanted to see, and when she first came in 2013 she instantly fell in love with it. This led her to join an Earthwatch volunteering project on scavenger ecology in South Africa in 2014. This trip opened her eyes to the world of conservation in Africa, particularly with respect to the horrors of poaching across the continent. She became so passionate about this, particularly the illegal rhino horn trade and associated markets, that upon coming home she picked up the nickname “crazy rhino lady” from her friends and family. Her love of travelling and nature inspired her to study Geography at the University of Southampton. During her summer holidays she spent time in South Africa volunteering on research and conservation projects working with white rhino, scavengers such as brown hyena and vultures, and big cats. She came to Kwa-Zulu Natal in 2017 to carry out her undergraduate thesis research on interspecific competition between black rhino and other browsers. Kate also writes for an environmental blog in her spare time, and can’t wait to explore more of Cape Town and South Africa. She hopes this Masters will strengthen her knowledge of conservation and develop her skills as a biologist, so she is better equipped to help the planet’s most endangered species.


Influences on shark risk perception with contrasting human-shark conflict interventions. (Supervisors: Justin O'Riain, Nicoli Natrass)