Esther Matthew grew up in central South Africa and became fascinated with nature and animals at a very young age. Following high school, Esther pursued degrees in Zoology, Physiology, Biodiversity and Conservation Ecology. In 2015, she completed her M.Sc. in Environmental Science and as part of her studies she successfully raised and trained a scent detection dog to locate Giant African Bullfrogs (Pyxicephalus adspersus) underground. The project ignited Esther’s interest in training canines for conservation and research. As a result, she pursued additional training with national and international professionals in the canine behaviour and scent detection fields.
Esther joined the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Drylands Conservation Programme (EWT-DCP) in 2016 and is currently working as their Specialist Conservation Officer, focusing on in situ Endangered species conservation and research. Esther also has a passion for sharing conservation knowledge. As such, she works closely with learners from local schools, taking them into the field to teach them about nature through environmental education. She coordinates the programme’s volunteer project, aimed at exposing young career conservationists to field work in the Karoo.
Esther is a National Geographic Society Explorer and a highly dedicated and motivated conservationist. She aims to become one of the leaders in conservation canine research, because she is passionate for wildlife, conservation and research. She has an aptitude for the application of novel approaches in her work. Her enthusiasm and drive motivate other team members and her strong foundation in conservation biology allows her to lead by example.