Earthwatch Scientist, Yvonne Kemp

Yvonne Kemp

MSc in Ecology

Yvonne holds an MSc degree in Ecology and has over twelve years of experience working in conservation & rewilding projects in The Netherlands, Spain, Paraguay, and Costa Rica, where she held coordinating roles and conducted & coordinated a variety of ecological research. She has worked in various European countries as a conservationist and rewilding professional. During her many travels, volunteer positions, and jobs, Yvonne has explored various nature areas and learned about local conservation efforts, especially in the tropical regions of Southeast Asia and Latin America. She is (co-)author of various scientific and popular magazine articles, reports, and blogs. An established European bison expert, she is acting as a member of the IUCNs Species Survival Commission—Bison Specialist Group. She loves wildlife photography and telling stories promoting the natural world in her spare time.

Why are you interested in your research focus?

I am dedicated to nature & wildlife conservation and am particularly interested in endangered species and megafauna. With many species facing unprecedented challenges linked to human impacts, I am keen to use technologies including camera traps as an integral part of furthering the overall understanding regarding the ecological roles and importance of a wide array of terrestrial (mega)fauna, and to highlight the needs for protection and conservation, on a large landscape level and for the long term. Using science and local knowledge to bend challenges into practical solutions for a better-balanced future is an important personal driver.

What is one of your favorite moments in the field?

I am amazed by biodiversity every time I go out into nature. To use all senses and explore what's around always gives something to learn from. I am a keen camera trap user, and checking what is recorded never stops being exciting to me, especially if there is wildlife or behavior that I haven't seen at the scene yet. I vividly remember checking footage in a protected natural area in the south of Spain and discovering an Iberian lynx mum with two young cubs that passed the camera I placed just days before. To see a highly endangered species like this, with a new generation, gives an incredible feeling: hope for the future.

  • BSc in Animal Husbandry, HAS Green Academy, ´s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands.
  • MSc in Ecology, VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
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