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Conservation Careers Podcast
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Conservation Careers Podcast

Author: Conservation Careers

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Nick Askew from Conservation Careers uncovers what it's like to work in wildlife conservation. He explores how to get a conservation job, and discusses the latest industry news, by speaking to professional conservationists who share their career stories and advice. So if you want the inside scoop on the life of a professional conservationist and their industry, are feeling lost in your conservation job hunt and need some direction, or wanting to switch careers into conservation but don't know where to start - this is the podcast for you! Conservation jobs, conservation volunteering, conservation internships, conservation careers, conservation news, conservation stories. Check us out at to find the most conservation jobs and the best conservation careers advice.
104 Episodes
How do people and nature interact? How does nature benefit people? Which interactions have the greatest impacts, and how can research into these questions help tackle some of the biggest issues facing wildlife today?  These are some of the questions which today’s guest has dedicated his career to tackling.  Kevin Gaston is a Professor of Biodiversity and Conservation at the University of Exeter.  His work ranges from characterising people’s personalised ecologies to identifying priority areas for nature recovery.  In this podcast, we talk about his fascinating research focus and also discuss an exciting five-year programme he’s co-leading called RENEW.  This collaborative programme between the University of Exeter the National Trust and many other partners is seeking to reshape understanding and action on biodiversity renewal across scales, creating knowledge, and influencing national institutions, communities and individuals.   In this episode, we discuss his research focus, the RENEW programme, and his career journey so far. Kevin also shares his advice for aspiring conservation scientists, and also we discuss how the skills needed within the sector might be changing into the future.  It’s a wide-ranging, interesting and impactful discussion.  Enjoy.
In conservation, some issues tend to get a lot of attention from the donors when other, equally important issues, can be ignored.  What do you do in this situation to raise the profile, and much-needed funding, to conserve the overlooked species, sites and ecosystems?  To discuss this and more we’re speaking with Nina Seale from Synchronicity Earth.  Synchronicity Earth aims to be a different kind of conservation organisation. They are research-driven, raising and distributing donor funding to the conservation sector often towards the less-sexy areas of work.   As Communications Manager Nina’s role is to tell the stories of the conservation organisations and individuals supported by Synchronicity Earth. A talented writer, we talk about her day-to-day work in Comms, along with her career path and advice for people like you who might be interested to follow in her footsteps.   We also discuss the importance of addressing the diversity deficit in conservation and the actions she’s taken to found an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Working Group at Synchronicity Earth.  The chat was recorded in front of a live audience of Conservation Careers Academy members, who got to ask their questions to Nina after the recording had finished.  If you’d like to be in the audience of our podcast recordings, along with enjoying access to the world’s biggest conservation job board and a private members community of over 1,000 aspiring and professional conservationists, please check out the Conservation Careers Academy at  Ok, let’s get into the wide-ranging and career-boosting discussion with Nina.  Enjoy.
Have you ever had a BIG idea that grabbed your attention and got you excited? And if you have, did you know how to start turning your idea into reality? Todays’ guest is a career switcher doing just this.  Tara Phillips is a Ted-X speaker coach who is developing an exciting idea to start an inspiring physical space where people can learn, convene and campaign about soil and soil-related issues. Called The Soil Centre, she hopes it will lead to action being taken to conserve and regenerate the soil, which in turn, will result in wildlife and human health flourishing.  In this episode, we talk about her career to date and why she’s seeking to switch careers into conservation. We also discuss how she’s going about validating and refining her vision for The Soil Centre. Finally, she shares her pro tips for anyone wishing to take their presentations to the next level whilst also keeping nerves under control.  It’s an inspiring, practical and wide-ranging podchat. Enjoy!
Many of us will have visited aquariums and marvelled at the marine life on display. But what role can an Aquarium have in supporting conservation efforts?  Here to discuss this and other topics is today’s guest Elizabeth Stephenson.  Elizabeth is the Program Director of the New England Aquarium’s Marine Conservation Action Fund - a grants programme that provides support for community-based and locally-managed marine conservation projects in low- and middle-income countries around the globe.   To date, Marine Conservation Action Fund (or MCAF as it's often termed) has supported over 200 projects in more than 60 countries across six continents.  In this episode, we talk about the work of the New England Aquarium in support of conservation efforts and also explore what the Marine Conservation Action Fund is, how it works, and how you could potentially benefit from it.  Elizabeth also shares what it’s like to manage a programme such as this, along with her career journey and advice for people like you who might be interested to follow in her footsteps.  It’s a marine-granting, locally-managed and community-based podcast episode.  Enjoy. 
In this special conversation we're celebrating the 100th episode of the Conservation Careers Podcast! The CC Podcast was launched on 21st June 2018, and over the past five years we've talked to so many different people within the conservation sector, played with the format and enjoyed the ride.  We're proud to say that we've had 152,136 unique podcast downloads and a typical episode gets 1,500 to 2,000 listeners. We also have a 5-star rating on Apple Podcasts and we're the top conservation podcast on Spotify! For our 100th episode, we reflect on the podcast journey so far and share some of the lessons learnt. We also take a look behind the scenes of the podcast - at how we pull it together and edit it - and share hints and tips we've picked up along the way. If you're interested in doing your own podcast, you might be able to take something away and start one for yourself (it's super easy!) Joining me for this episode is my 'partner in crime', Kristi Foster, Head of Engagement at CC. Most importantly thank YOU for being here and supporting the Conservation Careers Podcast - we hope you've enjoyed the journey too!
Our guest in this episode is a good friend and someone I’ve wanted to get on the show since day one.   Described as the real-life Indiana Jones, Niall McCann is a TV Presenter, Explorer, and Biologist.  Niall has travelled the planet on biological expeditions in some of the most remote parts of the globe, and joins the show today to discuss his role as Director of Conservation for National Park Rescue.  National Park Rescue is a direct-action conservation organisation that focuses on preventing the slaughter of elephants, rhinos and lions in sub-Saharan Africa. They rescue dying national parks to protect nature, alleviate poverty and tackle poaching.   In this engaging and wide-ranging discussion, recorded in front of a live audience, we discuss his work to establish National Park Rescue from the ground up. How do you identify failing national parks and approach them to help? How do you fund such work into the future, and what difference is their innovative approach making?  Niall also shares his career journey and advice for people like to you follow.  It’s a must-listen episode.  Enjoy. 
In this very special episode of the podcast, we take you behind the scenes of our NEW Conservation Pathway Programme. The Conservation Pathway Programme is designed to help career switchers like you discover how to confidently switch your career to conservation with expert guidance and support. In this episode I'm joined by Starlight Mundy, Business Growth Strategist and Community Accelerator, who's working with us to take our community programmes to the next level. I'm also joined by Kristi Foster, Head of Engagement at Conservation Careers, who mapped the Key Conservation Roles and helped create the step-by-step process to becoming a conservationist. Together we talk about how we brought the Conservation Pathway Programme to life... from the initial vision, to the strategy, to why it's a total game-changer for career switchers and the conservation sector. Enjoy!
How do you switch careers from something entirely unrelated to wildlife and start to carve out a role for yourself in the conservation sector? How do you find your purpose, network effectively, get training support and secure high-quality experiences which can transform your work? In this episode, guest Edward Sanders discusses how he overcame these challenges and more. Ed has worked in the UK, Far East, Southern Africa, Middle East and Australasia in properly development and management for over 20 years. He spent a magical two years in Botswana in his early career, and has since held a passion to return to Africa and dedicate himself to wildlife conservation efforts. We've been supporting Ed on his career journey over the last six months, and he's stood out as a really engaged, dynamic and driven career switcher who's going places. I wanted to share his career journey and advice with you. During our chat we talk about his career background in property and real estate and also the practical steps he's taken to start transferring his skills into the conservation sector. From self reflection and Ikigai, to career planning, coaching and networking, Ed shares his honest experience, along with his practical tips for anyone to learn from. It's an inspiring, exciting and really useful podcast for anyone seeking to switch into or secure a career in conservation. Enjoy.  
Can you picture yourself rescuing, rehabilitating or even releasing individuals from a Critically Endangered species in the wild? Or translocating wolves from Canada to be released in Yellowstone National Park in the US? Those are just two examples of the work of Dr. Malcolm McAdie, a Canadian wildlife veterinarian who’s worked with species such as wolves, snakes, Bald Eagle and Critically Endangered Vancouver Island Marmots. As a wildlife vet, Malcolm works with the Marmot Recovery Foundation, overseeing all the captive breeding and Marmot care, and rescuing and releasing Marmots. He also provides specialized care to all the animals at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association, among many other exciting projects. In this episode, Malcolm shares his career journey, the highlights of being a wildlife vet, and the importance of sharing conservation success stories. He also explains some of the keys to his own career success - including being flexible and available, and making connections that led to work.
What role do zoos play in conservation, why is diversity important and how can you get upskilled to have more impact?  We discuss these topics in front of an audience from within our CC Pro community on today’s podcast with Dr Helen Gath from the Durrell Conservation Academy.  Helen is a conservation ecologist passionate about enthusing others to protect the natural world. She holds a PhD on the Mauritius Echo parakeet and in her role as Conservation Training Officer enjoys collaborating with world-leading conservation practitioners to facilitate and deliver a wide range of training for aspiring and professional conservationists.  She shares what it’s like to do her work day-today and also her career path; including some struggles along the way.  It’s a wide-ranging, fun and inspiring chat where we also had a great chat with the audience after the recording ended.   As always, enjoy. 
Stella Diamant is a passionate conservation biologist who founded the Madagascar Whale Shark Project, introduced a code of conduct for whale shark tourism, initiated an environmental education programme for Malagasy youth, and has identified almost 500 individual Whale Sharks.   She’s now working in collaboration with other NGOs and has helped ensure the code of conduct is being added to Malagasy law, and will soon be compulsory for all operators across Madagascar interacting with marine megafauna.   An old friend of CC, Stella talks candidly about her insights from her experience founding and running the NGO single-handedly. She talks passionately about why Whale Sharks matter and what she’s doing to help conserve them. We also discuss her careers advice for budding marine conservationists.   This is also a new format of the podcast, where we invited our community members into the recording as an audience and invited them to ask questions of Stella once the mics were turned off.  If you’d like to be in the audience of our podcast recordings, please join the CC Academy and come along.   Righty, let’s hand over Stella and get this show on the road… 
In this episode we’re speaking with Lucy Standing, who’s the Co-Founder of Brave Starts which offers career change and start-up business programmes to help people over 50 lead more purposeful lives.  Lucy talks openly about the challenges mature people face in their careers and within the workplace.  We discuss why age is being ignored in discussions about diversity and inclusion, and what can be done about it.  We cover a lot of really fascinating ground in this podchat, from her views of career advice to reforms needed in recruitment, to practical steps and advice for people seeking to switch gears in their careers when 50+ years old.  It’s a really wide-ranging, engaging and value packed discussion.  Enjoy. 
Today we’re speaking with ocean writer and PR freelancer Melissa Hobson.  Mel is passionate about communicating how we can all make a difference for the marine environment, our planet and people’s lives.  She’s a certified scuba diver and has worked in PR for over a decade – at first outside of conservation and then more recently turning her considerable talents towards helping wildlife to flourish.  During our chat we talk about her work in PR and writing and she shares tips on how to be a freelancer in conservation, win clients and craft messages that work.  We also discuss her squiggly career to date, and how we switched into wildlife conservation.  Finally Mel shares her advice for people who might be wishing to work in conservation too.  It’s a wide-ranging, engaging and fun discussion.   Enjoy. 
  Today we’re speaking with Valérie D'Hoedt Meyer, who is the Director of the IUCN Academy.  Launched in September 2021, the IUCN Academy seeks to harness expertise from within the International Union for Conservation of Nature network to provide training for those seeking to make a meaningful contribution to the dynamic world of conservation.   The IUCN is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations, and in the podcast we discuss what exactly it is and how it works.   We then talk about the IUCN Academy, before Valerie shares her career journey as a switcher – moving from law to education and finally into conservation.   She shares her careers advice for switchers, and also explains the IUCN recruitment process from an insider’s perspective.   It’s an interesting discussion about the role of education in conservation, and also the importance of resilience when switching careers.  Enjoy. 
If you’re interested in conservation, then you’ve probably heard the term rewilding.  Over the past decade or so it has represented a growing movement within the industry to restore nature back to its former glory. Sometimes involving reintroducing long-lost species back into landscapes.   One of the organisations involved in the movement is Citizen Zoo – a young UK charity dedicated to rewilding, made up of a passionate team and volunteers around the country working to restore nature and help species and habitats thrive.  Today we’re speaking to Ben Stockwell, Senior Rewilding Officer at Citizen Zoo.  We discuss why rewilding is such an exciting opportunity for conservationists, how it works and some examples of how you can get involved.  As always, we also talk about what it’s like to do this type of work and Ben's advice people like you who might be interested in following in his footsteps.  It’s an inspiring, thought-provoking and wild chat - enjoy!
Are you keen to switch your career into conservation in 2023? Perhaps you’re feeling a little stuck in a job you’re not fully happy with, and you want to follow your passion and help wildlife to flourish as your day job. Well, today I want to show you that this is possible by sharing the inspiring success stories of four amazing ladies who switched their careers into conservation in 2022 with our support. In a minute you’re going to hear a recording of a live event we did win collaboration with my co-host, and all round good egg, Ebony Escalona from Vets Stay Go Diversify. During the webinar we spoke to the following people who recently switched their careers, and who share their honest reflections of their journeys: First up we have Magda Zachara. After almost 10 years in Molecular Life Sciences Magda recently switched careers into conservation and is now working for the International Union for Conservation of Nature. We then have Jennifer Cantley. An experienced British veterinary surgeon who recently switched careers to become a Communications Officer for the One Health European Joint Programme, based at the University of Surrey. We also hear from Stephanie Gentle. Formally working in emergency management in Washington DC, Stephanie switched career and is now working in cross-border conservation with Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania (PPNEA). And last but not least we hear from Kate Stephenson. A blogger, journalist and educational media specialist who recently switched careers into conservation to become Head of Communications at Whitley Fund for Nature. I found it such an inspiring, honest and reflective session and I’m sure you’re going to love it too. Before you jump into the session … If you’d like our help to get your career on track in 2023 we’ve just opened our Conservation Career Kick-starter. The Conservation Career Kick-Starter is a comprehensive programme of training, support, community and jobs designed to get you hired quicker as a professional wildlife conservationist. We’ve supported over 2,500 people through the programme today and many of them – as you’re about to hear - are flying in their careers as a result. Success is totally possible, and we can help you to achieve it. If you’d like to find out more, please visit That’s enough waffle from me, let’s jump into the live event. Enjoy.
What will 2023 have in store for you? Today I'm launching a five-day New Year / New Career challenge to unlock your ideas and help guide you in 2023. It could really change your life. Are you ready?!
2022 Reflections

2022 Reflections


Welcome to our final podcast episode of 2022! As we look ahead to a new year, we're reflecting on what we loved about 2022, and what we're excited about in 2023. Joining our host Dr Nick Askew is Head of Community, Dr Fernando Mateos-González - or Nando he’s often known - and Head of Engagement Kristi Foster, who together have nearly 50 years' experience working in the conservation sector. We're also good friends as well as colleagues :) Together we explore our favourite moments from 2022, the power of community, inspiring career switch success stories, our dream podcast guest list, our dream career ideas for 2023, what we're thankful for, and much more. It's a relaxed, fun and friendly chat. Enjoy! PS: you can read all our success stories from 2022 here:
Rewilding and restoration is an increasingly exciting and popular area of conservation. Whereby land is returned to a more natural state in a bid to let natural processes thrive once more. There are numerous examples of it working quickly and really well - species returning in a matter of years - but have you heard of anyone rewilding a desert before? Today we’re speaking with someone who’s leading a huge team seeking to restore 20,000 sq km of Saudi Arabia to ultimately allow Arabian Leopards to roam free in the near future, whilst also creating a thriving tourist economy. Dr Stephen Browne is the Executive Director of The Royal Commission for AlUla. AlUla refers to an area in the northwest of Saudi Arabia and is a region often referred to as the world’s largest living museum for its incredible sandstone carvings and rock art. In this passionate and inspiring discussion, Stephen tells us about plans to protect 80% of AlUla by 2035 and how his team are rewilding the desert at scale - planting 10 million trees and reintroducing threatened species. We discuss how truly huge conservation programmes are being developed across the Middle East and how world leaders are seeing nature-based solutions as a priority for their businesses and also for investments. Stephen also shares his career path and advice for people seeking to work in the sector. He’s got quite a story to tell. Enjoy.
Daniel Kaul | Natucate

Daniel Kaul | Natucate


Do you love learning about the natural world and have a sense of travel and adventure?  Do you wish you could get out from behind a screen, step out of your comfort zone, and step into wild nature?  On the podcast today I’m speaking with Daniel Kaul, Managing Director of conservation-oriented travel company Natucate.  Natucate offer many opportunities for the ‘conscious travel’, including specialising in creating unforgettable educational adventures in the wilderness.  During this wide-ranging discussion we talk about voluntourism, and explore the good and bad sides of the industry.  We chat about how people can better choose ethical and impactful projects when booking a trip.  And we also explore Daniel’s career path into the industry, from being an IT project manager to establishing a successful conservation travel company that’s doing some great work in the world for wildlife and people.  It’s an inspiring, thought-provoking and really fun episode.  Enjoy. 
Comments (3)

Alexandra Ciuca

Nice talk! Social enterprises are the answer 🤗

Feb 3rd
Reply (1)

Nick Askew

love it

Jul 25th
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