Robin Rigg is chairman of the Slovak Wildlife Society, which he established in 1998. He is a zoologist specialising in large carnivores, their management and coexistence with human communities. He has a Bachelors degree in Natural, Medical & Veterinary Science from Cambridge University and gained his Masters degree in Zoology from the University of Aberdeen with a thesis on "The extent of predation on livestock by large carnivores in Slovakia and mitigating carnivore-human conflict using livestock guarding dogs". Since moving from Scotland to Slovakia in 1996 much of Robin's work has focused on wolves, bears and lynx and their interactions with local people. He is an active member of the IUCN-IBA Bear Specialist Group and the Large Carnivore Initiative for Europe. In 2016 he was appointed a member of the Ministry of the Environment's Working Group for the Management of Large Carnivores in Slovakia.
Peter Bedo is a naturalist, tracker and field guide with a particular interest in the ecology and conservation of large carnivores in the Carpathians. He gained his MSc in Agricultural Sciences in 2003 with a specialisation in Wildlife Biology & Game Management. He has been involved in fieldwork for a variety of projects on raptors and large carnivores and has also worked as a farming, agriculture and trade journalist. Peter divides his time between the mountains of central Slovakia and the northern hills of his native Hungary, focusing on possible links and movements of wildlife between the two countries.
Michal Haring completed the Nature Guard study programme at Zilina University's Institute of High Mountain Biology in the Tatra Mountains. Michal is particularly interested in bears and has been helping us develop measures to reduce instances of bears raiding refuse bins. In April 2011 he spent time in Yellowstone National Park and gave a presentation at the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center on Bears in the Carpathians, SWS activities and Slovak nature. He tracks large carnivores in order to collect samples for genetic analysis. He also helps with activities for children and youth: talks in schools, presentations and exhibitions. He is currently beginning studies in Alpine Ecology at the University College of Southeast Norway and Zilina University.
Dr. Katarina Mikuskova studied Medicine at Comenius University in Bratislava and completed her doctoral work in Dental Medicine. She currently works at the University Hospital in Martin. In her spare time she works with various organisations in the field of nature conservation. Since 2010 Katka has been helping SWS with wildlife monitoring and tracking carnivores, running workshops, transporting international colleagues and almost anything else we ask her to do!
Sam Puls spent his youth out in nature, hiking in some of the most beautiful places around Europe. He finished his Masters in Biology at the University of Antwerp in 2010, following which he took a course in Wildlife Biology at Grismo Research Station in Sweden. He is particularly interested in carnivores and their interactions with people, both in terms of human-wildlife conflicts as well as the role of ecotourism in conservation. While waiting to welcome the return of the wolf to his native Belgium, Sam assists with various wildlife monitoring projects. He spent summer 2013 observing grizzly bears in Canada and since 2012 has taken part in SWS's Carpathian Wolf Watch: White Wilderness, for which he serves as Volunteer Team Leader.
Viera Stupakova has more than two decades of experience working for environmental organisations as a volunteer and employee, including as co-founder of Presov bicycle group "Boneshaker", the Woodcraft League of Slovakia and Wigmunke Oyate (an experimental ethnographic group about the culture of native Americans). She has been involved in many local, regional, national and international projects in the Carpathian region and Europe focused on environmental transport and ecotourism. Viera is currently an independent consultant in the processes of planning and implementing recreational trails and cycle routes in eastern Slovakia. She decided to offer her skills and experience to the SWS team and since 2016 has helped as a volunteer with the preparation and management of projects as well as intensive fieldwork.
Joern Kaufhold is an environmental education specialist. He has a Diploma in social pedagogy from the University for Applied Sciences in Munster, Germany. Joern runs tracking courses, environmental workshops and wilderness awareness camps for various partners in Slovakia, where he has lived with his family since 2007, as well as in his native Germany and elsewhere in Europe. He helps the Slovak Wildlife Society with fieldwork, data collection, training students and volunteers.
Dr. John Beecham has been involved in bear research and management since 1972. During his years in the field as a research biologist, John has been responsible for capturing over 1,500 black and brown bears in North America and Europe in order to collect information on their population dynamics, food habits, reproductive biology, denning ecology, movements, habitat use and mortality factors. He continues to work as a consultant on efforts to release orphan bears back to the wild. John is a past president of the International Association for Bear Research and Management and currently serves the IUCN Bear Specialist Group as the Chair of the Human-Bear Conflict Expert Team.
Prof. Djuro Huber teaches Zoology and Ecology at the Department of Biology, Veterinary Faculty, Zagreb. He has been conducting scientific research on brown bears in Croatia since 1981, expanding the programme to cover wolves and lynx from 1996. Studies have been conducted on many aspects of large carnivore ecology and management using telemetry and genetics as well as a range of other methods including surveys of public attitudes to carnivores and hunting. Prof. Huber is co-chair of the IUCN Bear Specialist Group's European Brown Bear expert team and a member of the IUCN Wolf Specialist Group, the International Association for Bear Research and Management and the Large Carnivore Initiative for Europe.
David Lintott is a barrister specialising in public law and planning. He gained his degree in Law from Cambridge University in 1995 and has been a member of Cornerstone Barristers, 2-3 Gray's Inn Square, London since 1997. He has always had a keen interest in ecology and arboriculture and has been involved in conservation of large carnivores and their forest habitats in Slovakia since 1998, when he became a founder member of the Slovak Wildlife Society. David provides us with legal advice and serves as treasurer for UK operations.
Gregg Losinski is chairman of the Information & Education Subcommittee of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, in charge of handling all the information and education work for grizzly bears in the USA outwith Alaska. He is also a Conservation Educator for Idaho Department Fish & Game, teaching students, teachers and the general public about wildlife, its management and conservation. To gain insight into the issues he deals with in his media and education work, Gregg takes an active role helping out with projects from live-capturing bears to apprehending poachers. Gregg holds a Bachelors degree in Scientific Land Management and a Masters degree in Education. He has also worked for Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the US National Park Service.
Richard Morley has two decades' experience in conservation of large carnivores since he started working with wolves at the Iberian Wolf Recovery Centre in Portugal in 1995. He is currently the director of the Wolves and Humans Foundation, a UK-based charity dedicated to the conservation of large carnivores in Europe. He has worked with the Slovak Wildlife Society since 1999, helping to set up, fund and promote various projects and providing administrative support for UK operations.
Prof. Claudio Sillero is the Deputy Director of Oxford University's Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Head of Conservation at the Born Free Foundation and the Chair of the IUCN Canid Specialist Group. He is a conservation biologist interested in threatened species, wildlife monitoring, disease dynamics and protected area management, with 30 years of experience in many countries across four continents. He is particularly involved in the relationships between wildlife and rural communities, biodiversity conservation policy and practices, and the mitigation of conflict between wildlife and human interests.
Dr. Seth Wilson is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Research Associate with the Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative. Seth is also Affiliate Faculty at University of Montana. His research and applied efforts focus on large carnivore conservation, policy and human-wildlife conflict. He is currently working on a multi-year research project involving a community supported conservation plan to reduce human-grizzly bear and wolf conflicts and bear mortality on private agricultural land in Montana.