About

Team

Max-cropped

Dr Max Graham

Founder and CEO

Max Graham is a fluent Kiswahili speaker who has worked on environment and development projects in Afghanistan, Ecuador, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Gabon. He has been involved in elephant research and conservation since 2000 and in 2006 was awarded a PhD from the University of Cambridge. He has published numerous scientific papers on elephant behaviour, human-elephant conflict and wildlife conservation and in 2012 became a member of the IUCN African Elephant Specialist Group. Max is a visiting academic of the Department of Geography at the University of Cambridge and the chairman of the Laikipia Wildlife Forum’s Conservation Committee. He has been based in north Kenya for more than a decade.

Shamini Jayanathan

Director of Legal Strategy

For 15 years Ms. Jayanathan applied keen analytical and communication skills in her career as a criminal barrister in the United Kingdom before moving into the field of legal diplomacy and capacity building on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).  For over three years she focused one building legislative, prosecutorial and judicial capacity within the sphere of counter-terrorism in Kenya, Somalia, Somaliland and also wildlife trafficking in Kenya. Using a combination of technical expertise and an ability to communicate and persuade across all manner of audience, she has achieved tangible impact in conflict environments namely Mogadishu and Hargeisa. More recently, in the context of wildlife trafficking, in Kenya, Botswana and Uganda she has instigated, among other interventions, changes in national prosecution policy, agreement on inter-agency cooperation and measures to reduce delay in the progress of criminal trials.  She currently directs the law enforcement strand of Giants Club ambitions.

Dr Lauren Evans

Co-founder and Director of Conservation

Lauren has worked in elephant conservation in East Africa for 12 years, carrying out a PhD and post-doctoral research at the university of Cambridge on human-elephant conflict (HEC) and the politics of elephant conservation in Kenya. She has coordinated Space for Giants’ research and conservation work since the organisation was established, including developing regional and national HEC-mitigation strategies in Amboseli, Laikipia and now Gabon; understanding elephant behaviour in HEC; assessing the social and political impact of electrified fencing; and working out how to secure land for wildlife and Africa’s surging economic growth. 

George Aike

George Aike

GIS Officer

George has over 10 years experience in remote sensing & GIS work. His world class skills have supported Kenya’s leading research institutions with mapping & spatial analysis solutions. His daily tasks involve working with related software and programs to create and maintain GIS / RS data and/or maps that are combined with geographically referenced data (land use, land cover, environmental, infrastructure, administrative etc) in support of SFG’s conservation management.

Samuel Githui

Samuel Githui

Project Officer

A member of the SFG team since early 2013, Sammy now supports the implementation of our Laikipia field programmes.  Sammy collects all the data coming in from the field and keeps an eager eye on the movements of our collared bull elephants. He works closely with Daniel, Wahome and our scouts to mitigate human-elephant conflict and monitoring the illegal killing of elephants, as well as assisting to roll out our drama group across the county.

Daniel Lentipo

Daniel Lentipo

Elephant Researcher

Daniel started working for space for giants as elephant researcher in April 2014. He is based at Loisaba and monitors the population of elephants passing through. He also plays an important role liaising with communities who provide him with data on conflict incidents. Daniel has plenty of experience having previously worked for Save the Elephants in Samburu.

Joseph Wahome

Joseph Wahome

Elephant Researcher

Joseph Wahome identifies and monitors the naughty elephants of Laikipia; the fence breakers and the crop-raiders. Joseph’s work often includes taking huge risks to get close to the subjects of his research, but with many years of paramilitary training, he is rarely phases. The information he collects is critical for helping us to understand problem elephants and how best to manage them. Joseph has recently been equipped with tools like camera traps and an early warning system that alerts him when certain collared elephants are nearing fences. These new technologies are helping Joseph to provide a greater variety of information regarding ‘problem animals’ and their behavior.

Charles in the field

Charles Kinyua

MIKE Officer

Charles focuses on monitoring the illegal killing of elephants. He monitors movements of elephants in poaching hotspots on a daily basis, and gathers information on potential poaching risks. He is also responsible for reporting any incidences of the death of an elephant, be it by natural or illegal causes.

Maurice Schutgens

Laikipia Programme Manager

Maurice is a passionate Conservation Biologist from the Netherlands with his roots firmly in Africa. He spent the two years before joining the Space for Giants team exploring the world, trying to make himself a successful photographer and led a snow leopard research study in Nepal. Working towards ensuring the future of the worlds last wild places as well as the animals and communities that depend on them is Maurice’s main passion. Securing a future for our gentle Giants fits the bill!

mathisen

Susan Mathisen

US Development Director

Susan has numerous years of experience working with European organizations wishing to establish American membership programs. Her efforts have resulted in increased membership, collaborative partnerships, successful events, and a heightened profile for organizations such as the Historic Royal Palaces. She aims to do the same for Space for Giants US. A native New Yorker, Susan welcomes the opportunity to explore nature – whether it be in the Ramble of Central Park or by traveling further afield in the US.