James grew up in Kenya where he was surrounded by wildlife and the outdoors. School holidays were spent on safari game driving with clients, discussing Africa's conservation challenges around the campfire, and on walking safaris in some of Kenya's wildest and most beautiful regions.
This inspired James to study a science degree, the highlight being his Honours year in Hugh Possingham's conservation lab at the University of Queensland. After his degree, James returned to Kenya where he worked for the African Conservation Centre, an NGO whose focus is on community conservation in pastoral lands studying carnivore-livestock interactions.
James is now a PhD student based at the University of Queensland working with Oscar Venter and James Watson. His research interests are broad but include studying the impacts of human development on biodiversity conservation, and looking at incentives for land-use change. He is currently working on an integrated conservation planning project in Niassa reserve, Mozambique, with the Wildlife Conservation Society.