Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka

gladysI am passionate about conservation and have been working full time as a conservation practitioner since 1996, when I started the first veterinary unit in Uganda Wildlife Authority the government agency mandated to manage wildlife in Uganda. Prior to that, I revived a wildlife club in my secondary school in Uganda, which made me want to become a veterinarian who works with wildlife.

My career path in research began during my vet school at RVC I conducted a study on parasites in chimpanzee of Budongo Forest and parasites and bacteria in gorillas at Bwindi. We founded Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH) to prevent disease between people and gorillas and this led me down more pathways in conservation, where we started to also look at other human related threats that affect the gorillas habitat, and are now actively promoting community based family planning around Bwindi and other national parks in Uganda. I have also been directly involved as a policy maker when I sat in the board of Uganda Wildlife Authority from 2012 to 2015, this was the first time that someone from the NGO sector had ever sat on the UWA Board. During my time there I tried to improve UWA’s engagement with local communities and partnership with conservation NGOs. I like testing new ways of addressing problems in conservation, and putting my research findings into practice and our CTPH model based on research and veterinary case studies is a new One Health approach that I have been working on since 2003 when the NGO was established.


One Health, Population, Health and Environment (PHE), Ecohealth, Planetary health, Through my experiences when gorilla contracted a fatal disease from humans who are poor and have limited access to basic health and other social service. Integrating human, animal and ecosystem health together is a new field in conservation and gaining traction. We hope that our work will build on the evidence base for the value of health in promoting conservation and sustainable development.


gladysOne Health, Population, Health and Environment (PHE), Ecohealth, Planetary health, Through my experiences when gorilla contracted a fatal disease from humans who are poor and have limited access to basic health and other social service. Integrating human, animal and ecosystem health together is a new field in conservation and gaining traction. We hope that our work will build on the evidence base for the value of health in promoting conservation and sustainable development.

For more about Gladys' research visit our programme page here or here


What made you want to join ICCS as a Biodiversity fellow?

To network and learn about other ICCS members’ experiences in conservation


Is there a specific project you will be working on while you are with ICCS? Can you tell us a little about it?

CTPH is conducting collaborative research with Oxford University and the International Institute of Environment and Development (IIED), where Oxford is leading the social impact evaluation to determine if health investments made by CTPH at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park over the past ten years have resulted in benefits for conservation and then used recommendations from the research to improve on the programs at Bwindi and scale the approach to Budongo forest and Mount Elgon national parks in Uganda working with the Jane Goodall Institute and Budongo Forest Conservation Station at Budongo and Uganda Wildlife Authority at Mount Elgon. During my time a the ICCS, I look forward to learning more about conservation and social impact evaluation, and also working with experts to further analyse the gorilla health data we have collected over the past ten years, that will be used in the evaluation.


Gladys' CV can be found here

  • Six Sciences Certificate of Merit for best Sciences student at A-level in Kibuli Secondary School, Kampala, Uganda – 1989
  • Forum for African Women’s Educationalists “Models of Excellence,” promoting education of the girl-child in Uganda by establishing a role model mentorship program – 1999
  • Primate Conservationist of the month for July 1999 - by Primates Online website
  • Rotaract Club of Makindye (Uganda) annual vocational award for 1999/2000 in recognition of my work of protecting wildlife
  • Ashoka Fellow in September 2006 based on my vision of linking Uganda’s wildlife management and rural public health programs to create resources for both people and animals
  • Recognition of Excellence for outstanding contribution to the promotion of tourism and empowerment of women in Uganda on World Tourism Day, September 2007
  • Seed Magazine Revolutionary Mind for Science, September 2007
  • San Diego Zoo Conservation Medal Award, Category – Conservation in Action, May 2008
  • British Council Outstanding Young Alumni Award, June 2008
  • Chosen among nine international environmental leaders to write a letter to the next US President in Sierra Club Magazine, November/December 2008 issue
  • Whitley Gold Award for outstanding leadership in grassroots nature conservation, May 2009
  • World Economic Forum, Young Global Leaders, March 2010
  • King’s College Budo, Medal of Achievement 2009, March 2010
  • Conde Nast Traveler Magazine Runners Up Environmental Award, November 2010
  • Wings World Quest Women of Discovery Humanitarian Award, April 2011
  • 2012 Global Development Network Japanese Most Innovative Development Project Award, June 2013
  • 2014 Association of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO) Tourism Personality medal
  • CEO Communications Africa's Most Influential Women in Business and Government 2014 Award in Medicine and Veterinary category, August 2014
  • E4 Impact Kenya MBA Business Idea Competition Award, winner in Health Category, 3rd Prize, June 2015
  • E4 Impact Kenya MBA Business Plan Competition Award, winner in Education and Training Category, 4th Prize overall, September 2016
  • World Wildlife Day Award from the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities (MTWA) for outstanding contribution to conservation in Uganda, March 2017
  • Golden Jubilee Award from the President of Uganda for distinguished service to the nation as a veterinarian and conservationist on International Women’s Day, March 2017
  • SAG-SEED Award for eco inclusive enterprises to Gorilla Conservation Coffee, September 2017,
  • Entebbe Red Carpet Performance Environmentalist of the Year 2017 Award for Conservation Through Public Health, December 2017



  • African Primatological Society, Vice President
  • The Explorers Club, Chairperson of the Africa and Middle East Chapter
  • IUCN ESARO (East and Southern Africa) Regional Committee
  • IUCN Wildlife Health Specialist Group
  • International Primatological Society
  • Wildlife Disease Association


  • Wildlife Clubs of Uganda, Board Chairperson
  • The Gorilla Organization, London, UK, Trustee
  • Uganda Wildlife Authority Former Board Member, Chairperson Planning and Research Committee
  • Uganda Wildlife Education Centre Trust, Former Board Member
  • Buganda Heritage and Tourism Board, Former Chairperson


  • Kulika Charitable Trust, Kampala, Uganda
  • Primate Education Network


Kalema G. 1994. Letter entitled “Veterinarians and Zoological Medicine” to the Veterinary Record, raising My concern for trained wildlife veterinarians in developing countries like Uganda. The Veterinary Record, 135 (1).

Nizeyi J. B., Mwebe R, Nanteza A, Cranfield M.R, Kalema G.R.N.N., Graczyk T. 1999. Cryptosporidium sp. and Giardia sp. Infections in mountain gorillas (Gorilla gorilla beringei) of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda. Journal Parasitology 85 (7). American Society of Parasitologists.

Kalema G. 1998. Birth of a Mountain Gorilla in Bwindi Witnessed by Tourists. The Link - Managing Protected Areas with Communities. A newsletter of the Uganda Wildlife Authority Community Conservation Department. 2(2).

Kalema G. 1999. Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Interventions - Conservation Vs Welfare? Gorilla Conservation News, No. 13 May 1999.

Nizeye J. B., Innocent R. B., Erume J, Kalema G. R. N. N., Cranfield M. R. and Graczyk T. K. 2001. Campylobacteriosis, Salmonellosis, and Shigellosis in free-ranging human-habituated mountain gorillas in Uganda. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 37(2): 239-244.

Graczyk T. K., DaSilva A. J., Cranfield M. R., Nizeye J. B., Kalema G. R and Pieniazek N. J. 2001. Cryptosporidium parvum genotype 2 infections in free-ranging mountain gorillas (Gorilla gorilla beringei) of the Bwindi Impenetrable National park, Uganda. Parasitology Research 87 (5):368-70.

Kalema-Zikusoka G. 2002. Ugandan Wildlife Trade Stopped Dead in Its Tracks. International Primate Protection League Newsletter. December 2002.

Kalema-Zikusoka G, Kock R. A. , Macfie E. J. 2002. Scabies in free-ranging mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda. Veterinary Record 150 (1):12-5.

Kalema-Zikusoka G and Lowenstine L. 2001. Rectal prolapse in a free-ranging mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei): clinical presentation and surgical management. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 32 (4):509-513.

Munn J. and Kalema G. Death of a chimpanzee in a trap in Kasokwa Forest Reserve Uganda. African Primates journal/newsletter (1999-2000), Vol 4 (1&2): 58-62

Kalema-Zikusoka G, Horne W. A., Levine J. and Loomis M. R. 2003. Comparison of the cardiopulmonary effects of medetomidine-butorphanol-ketamine and medetomidine-butorphanol- midazolam in patas monkeys (Erthyrocebus patas). Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 34(1):47-52.

G., B Wolfe, M. Cesta, and D. Rotstein. 2003. Management of Multiple Intra-Hepatic biliary Cysts in a Desert Rosy Boa, Lichanura trivirgata gracia. Journal of Herpetological Medicine and Surgery. 13: 20-22.

Kalema-Zikusoka G, Rothman JM, Fox MT. 2005. Intestinal parasites and bacteria of mountain gorillas ( Gorilla beringei beringei) in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda. Primates 46:59-63.

Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka. 2004. Protected Areas, Human Livelihoods and Healthy Animals, Ideas for Integrated Conservation and development Interventions In: IUCN World Parks Congress AHEAD workshop proceedings

Steven. O. Osofsky, Richard A. Kock, Michael D. Kock, Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, Richard Grahn, Tim Leyland, William. B. Karesh. 2005. Building support for Protected Ares using a One Health perspective In: Friends for Life, New partners in support of protected areas. Edited by Jeff McNeily. Published by IUCN, Species Survival Commission.

Kalema-Zikusoka G, Bengis R, G., A. L. Michel and M. H. Woodford. 2005. A preliminary investigation of tuberculosis and other diseases in African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda. Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research, 72:145-151.

Jessica M. Rothman, Dwight G. Bowman, Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, and John Bosco Nkurunungi. 2006. Parasites of the Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Primates of Western Uganda, 10:171-192.

Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka and Lynne Gaffikin. 2008. Sharing the Forest, Protecting Gorillas and Helping Families in Uganda. Focus series, published by the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for International Scholars and USAID, Issue 17 October 2008.

Carmina Gallardo,1,6 Ana Luísa Reis,2 Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka,3 Joana Malta,4 Alejandro Soler,1 Esther Blanco,1 R. M. E. Parkhouse,2* and Alexandre Leitão5*”. 2009. Recombinant Antigen Targets for Serodiagnosis of African Swine Fever. Clinical and Vaccine Immunology, July 2009, p. 1012-1020, Vol. 16, No. 7.

Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka. 2009. Lair of a Silverback. Wild Places. National Geographic Traveler.

Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka. 2010. Comprehensive Conservation – Gorillas on the List. The Reporter, a publication of Population Connection, February 2010, Vol.42, Issue 1.

Lynne Gaffikin and Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka. 2010. Integrating Human and Animal Health for Conservation and Development: Findings from a Program Evaluation in Southwest Uganda. Consultancy report to John Snow.

Willard Cates; Quarraisha Abdool Karim; Wafaa Mahmoud El-Sadr; Debra W. Haffner; Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka; Khama Rogo; Tricia Petruney; E. Megan Davidson Averill. 2010. Family Planning and the Millenium Development Goals. Global Development, Policy Forum. Science, Vol 324.

Millán J., Chirife A.D., Kalema-Zikusoka G., Cabezón O. et al. 2013. Serosurvey of dogs for human, livestock, and wildlife pathogens, Uganda. Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka. 2013. Special Considerations and Scenarios, Page 395 In: Wildlife Forensic Investigation; Principles and Practice

Steven Rubanga and Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka. 2013. The Establishment and Use of Field Laboratories: Lessons from the CTPH Gorilla Research Clinic, Uganda In Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine. Volume 22. Number 1.

Tricia Petruney, Aurelie Brunie, Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, Patricia Wamala-Mucheri & Angela Akol.
2014. Informing the future of capacity building: lessons from an NGO partnership
Tricia Petruney, Aurelie Brunie, Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, Patricia Wamala-Mucheri & Angela Akol
Pages: 435-441
DOI: 10.1080/09614524.2014.89768

Christine Atherstone, Kim Picozzi, and Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka. 2014. Short Report: Seroprevalence of Leptospira Hardjo in Cattle and African Buffalos in Southwestern Uganda. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg., 90(2), 2014, pp. 288290

Kalema-Zikusoka G. 2015. Special Considerations and Scenarios. Mountain Gorilla Disease: Implications for Conservation In: Wildlife Forensic Investigations, Ch.13. pp.455-457. Edited by John E. Cooper and Margaret E. Cooper. Published by CRC Press.

Kalema-Zikusoka G. 2016. Family Planning and the Environment in Communities, pp. 33 – 35. Family Planning and Environmental Sustainability: Assessing the Science. Published by Worldwatch Institute.

Kalema-Zikusoka G. and Rwego I. B. 2016. Mountain Gorillas, Tourism, and Conflicts with People living adjacent to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, pp. 136 – 139. Edited by Alonso Aguirre and Raman Sukumar. Published by Oxford University Press.

Hopper J., Kalema-Zikusoka G., Sente C. and Jaffe J. 2016. Field Studies in Pathology and Health Monitoring. Chapter 17, pp. 197 – 209. Gorilla Pathology and Health. Edited by John E. Cooper and Gordon Hull. Published by Elsevier.

Innocent B. Rwego, Olutayo Olajide Babalobi, Protus Musotsi, Serge Nzietchueng, Christian Keambo Tiambo, John David Kabasa, Irene Naigaga, Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, Katherine Pelican. 2016. One Health capacity building in sub-Saharan Africa. Infection, Ecology and Epidemiology – The One Health Journal, v 6, 34032.

Emma L. Inzani, Harry H. Marshall, Jennifer L. Sanderson, Hazel J. Nichols, Faye J. Thompson, Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, Sarah J. Hodge, Michael A. Cant* & Emma I.K. Vitikainen. 2016. Female reproductive competition explains variation in prenatal investment in wild banded mongooses. Sci Rep. 2016. 6: 20013

Kevin Louis Bardosh, Jake Cornwall Scoones, Delia Grace, Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, Kate E. Jones, Katinka de Balogh, David Waltner-Toews, Bernard Bett, Susan C. Welburn, Elizabeth Mumford, Vupenyu Dzingirai. 2017. Opinion piece: Engaging research with policy and action: what are the challenges of responding to zoonotic disease in Africa? In One Health for a changing world: zoonoses, ecosystems and human well-being. Edited by Andrew Cunningham, Ian Scoones and James Wood. Published by Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 2017 372 20160162

Matthew J. Nolan, Melisa Unger, Yuen-Ting Yeap, Emma Rogers, Ilary Millet, Kimberley Harman, Mark Fox, Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka and Damer P. Blake. 2017. Molecular characterisation of protist parasites in human-habituated mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei), humans and livestock, from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda.


Alison Hanes, Masters Student from University of Kent in Canterbury, Evaluation of tourists’ willingness to wear masks when visiting gorillas at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park”

Raquel Costa PhD student from University of Kyoto. “Assessing the current impact of mountain gorilla ecotourism in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park”

Annalisa Weber, Masters Student from Ohio University, “Ecotourism: interaction between gorillas and tourists and tourists perceptions to gorilla conservation after gorilla trekking”

Ryoma Otsuka, Masters Student from University of Kyoto, Mountain gorilla conservation in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and its influence on residents living in villages adjacent to the park”.

Ryoma Otsuka extending to a PhD to include Stress hormones in mountain gorillas brought about by human interaction both inside the park and outside on community land.