My career so far spans the academic, the third sector, advocacy and policy sectors. My interest in the relationship between people and the natural environment led me to study Geography as an undergraduate, then work for several years in an environmental sustainability NGO that supported the work of grassroots projects across London. I also ran an environmental and skills-based training programme for vulnerable 16-25 year olds.
Following my MSc in Conservation Science, I worked for an advocacy group that sought to promote sustainable agricultural practices in sub-Saharan Africa, before return to academia for my PhD with ICCS. My field experience focusses on exploring the natural resource consumption patterns of people in Central Africa, specifically Cameroon. I have experience of field research in challenging environments, communications, and advocacy for environmental sustainability, conservation science and sustainable agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia.
I’m so proud to be part of diverse group such as ICCS and help tackle the major issues affecting conservation and biodiversity.
My research focusses on understanding the drivers of natural resource use, in particular wildmeat and on designing and assessing locally informed and participatory monitoring methods in Cameroon.
I also work on improving the ethics of conservation research using social research methods, and exploring the conditions that enable indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) to conserve their lands.
My research focusses on exploring how to better incorporate local ecological knowledge into the monitoring of wildlife populations and their threats, and into conservation initiatives for more effective outcomes that account for local nuances. I am currently working on the Darwin Initiative funded project "Why Eat Wild Meat", to understand the multitude of drivers of wild meat consumption and barriers to participation in alternative projects in rural villages in Cameroon.
- 2019-Present: Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Oxford. “Why Eat Wild Meat?”
- 2015-2019: DPhil Student, University of Oxford. “Incorporating Local Ecological Knowledge into Wildlife Population Monitoring”.
- 2014- 2015: Project & Communications Officer, Agriculture for Impact. Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London
- 2013: Independent Research, Imperial College London and Zoological Society London. “Rapid assessment of the status and distribution of the Forest Elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis) in South East Cameroon”
- 2013- Present: Freelance Ecology Fieldwork Assistant (Various across the UK)
- 2012-2013: Conservation Science MSc, Imperial College London. With Distinction and awarded the Gerald Durrell Prize.
- 2012: Research Assistant, Frontier Cambodia. “Livelihoods and sustainable resource use in Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary”.
- 2009- 2012: Project Executive, London Community Resource Network
- 2006- 2009: Geography BSc, Queen Mary University of London. Awarded 2.1 (Hons)
- 2015: NERC CASE Studentship
- 2013: Gerald Durrell Prize – Prize awarded for the quality of my thesis research during my Conservation Science MSc
- 2012: Rectors Scholarship– Studentship awarded based on previous experience, achievements and dedication to conservation
- 2015: 27th International Congress for Conservation Biology, Montpellier France. “Noticing the Elephant in the Forest” Poster presentation.
- 2014: Student Conference for Conservation Science, Cambridge England. “Noticing the Elephant in the Forest” Poster presentation.
Member of the British Ecological Society
Member of the Royal Geographical Society
- Kamogne Tagne, C.T, Brittain, S., Coad, L (2022). The impact of Covid-19 on wildmeat hunting and local livelihoods in communities surrounding the Dja reserve. African Journal of Ecolog, 60:2 https://doi.org/10.1111/aje.12995
- Brittain, S., Kamogne-Tagne, C.T., Roe D., et al. (2022). The drivers of wild meat consumption in rural Cameroon: Insights for wild meat alternative project design. Conservation Science & Practice https://doi.org/10.1111/csp2.12700
- Brittain, S., Rowcliffe, J.M., Kentatchime, F., Tudge, S., Kamogne Tagne, C.T., Milner-Gulland, E.J. (2022). Comparing interview methods with camera trap data to inform occupancy models of hunted mammals in forest habitats. Conservation Science and Practice. https://doi.org/10.1111/csp2.12637
- Tudge, S., Brittain, S., Kentatchime, F., Kamogne Tagne, C.T., Rowcliffe, M. (2022). The impacts of human activity on mammals in a community forest near the Dja Biosphere Reserve in Cameroon. Oryx. 10.1017/S0030605321000806
- Pienkowski, T., Keane, A., Castelló y Tickel, S., de Lange, E., Hazenbosch, M., Khanyari, M., Arlidge, W., Baranyi, G., Brittain, S., Kapoor, V., Mohan, V., Papworth, S., Ravi, R., Smit, I., Milner-Gulland, EJ. (2022) Protecting those who protect nature by supporting conservationists’ mental wellbeing. Conservation Letters. 10.21203/rs.3.rs-1132018/v1
- Whytock, R.C., Suijten, T., van Deursen, T., Świeżewski, J., Mermiaghe, H., Madamba, N., Moukoumou, N., Zwerts, JA., Koumba Pambo, AF., Bahaa-el-din, L., Brittain, S., Cardoso, AW., Henschel, P., Lehmann, D., Momboua, BR., Makaga, L., Orbell, C., White, LJT., Iponga, DM., Abernethy, KA (2022). Real-time alerts from AI-enabled camera traps using the Iridium satellite network: a case-study in Gabon, Central Africa. Preprint. 10.1101/2021.11.10.468078
- Pienkowski, T., Keane, A., de Lange, E., Khanyari, M., Arlidge, W., Baranyi, G., Brittain, S., Castelló y Tickel, S., Hazenbosch, Papworth, S., Milner-Gulland, EJ. (2022). Personal traits predict conservationists’ optimism about outcomes for nature. Conservation Letters. 10.1111/conl.12873
- Pienkowski, T., Keane, A., Castelló y Tickell, S., Hazenbosch, M., M., Arlidge, W., Baranyi, G., Brittain, S., de Lange, E., Khanyari, M., Papworth, S., Milner-Gulland, EJ. (2021) Balancing making a difference against making a living. Conservation Biology. 10.1111/cobi.13846
- Zwerts, J.A., Stephenson, P.J., Maisels, F., et al. (2021) Methods for wildlife monitoring in tropical forests: Comparing human observations, camera traps and passive acoustic sensors. Conservation Science and Practice. 10.1111/csp2.568
- Brittain, S., Tugendhat, H., Newing, H.S., Milner-Gulland, E.J. (2021). Conservation and the rights of Indigenous peoples and local communities: looking forwards. Oryx. 10.1017/S0030605321000946
- Booth H, Arias M, Brittain S, Challender DWS, Khanyari M, Kuiper T, Li Y, Olmedo A, Oyanedel R, Pienkowski T and Milner-Gulland EJ (2021) “Saving Lives, Protecting Livelihoods, and Safeguarding Nature”: Risk-Based Wildlife Trade Policy for Sustainable Development Outcomes Post-COVID-19. Front. Ecol. Evol. 9:639216. doi: 10.3389/fevo.2021.639216
- Whytock, R et al. 2021. Robust ecological analysis of camera trap data labelled by a machine learning model. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.13576
- Booth, H et al. 2021. Investigating the risks of removing wild meat from global food systems. Current Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.01.079
- Brittain, S et al. 2020. Ethical considerations when conservation research involves people. Conservation Biology. 10.1111/cobi.13464
- Ibbett H, & Brittain S, 2019. Conservation publications and their provisions to protect research participants. Conservation Biology. https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13337
- Brittain, S et al., 2018. Combining local knowledge and occupancy analysis for a rapid assessment of the forest elephant Loxodonta cyclotis in Cameroon's timber production forests. Oryx. 10.1017/S0030605317001569
Other reports and media:
- Brittain S (2021) Why Eat Wild Meat? Local food choices, food security and desired design features of wild meat alternative projects in Cameroon. Project Report. IIED, London https://pubs.iied.org/es/node/73396
- Brittain, S et al. (2020). Wild Meat Alternative Projects: Practical guidance for project design. Toolkit, IIIED https://pubs.iied.org/17661iied
- What does more environmental damage: eating meat from the wild or a factory farm? May, 2020 https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/may/26/ban-on-bushmeat-after-covid-19-but-what-if-alternative-is-factory-farming
- How Cameroon love for bush meat dey put animals for danger. April, 2019 https://www.bbc.com/pidgin/tori-48034874
- Glatzel, K., Alpert, E., Brittain, S., Conway, G. (2014) ‘No Ordinary Matter: Conserving, preserving and enhancing Africa’s soils. Montpellier Panel Report, Agriculture for Impact. https://ag4impact.org/news/no-ordinary-matter-conserving-restoring-and-enhancing-africas-soils-2014/
- Glatzel, K., Alpert, E., Brittain, S., Conway, G. (2014) ‘Small & Growing: Entrepreneurship in African Agriculture’. Montpellier Panel Report, Agriculture for Impact. https://ag4impact.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/MP_Report_2014.pdf