DPhil Student in Conservation Biology
Victoria grew up in Lesotho and South Africa and has always had a passion for wildlife and protecting the environment. She obtained her B.Sc. Honours degree in biodiversity and ecology from Stellenbosch University, South Africa in 2006 and then went on to do a Masters degree in Integrative Bioscience at Oxford University in 2008. Upon returning to South Africa, she joined an engineering company, SRK Consulting, as an Environmental Scientist. She worked on a number of large-scale mining projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa, and it was during this time that she became interested in sustainable development and in particular, the impacts that development has on local communities and biodiversity. After 5 years as a consultant, she decided to pursue a DPhil with ICCS at Oxford University, which provided her with an opportunity to learn more about social science and how it links with biodiversity.
Her DPhil project forms part of a wider Darwin project, “Achieving no net loss for communities and biodiversity in Uganda”, which is funded by the Department for International Development, UK’s Darwin Initiative. The project will work at a local, national and international level, supporting governments, NGOs and business to integrate local poverty alleviation, equity and cultural heritage into biodiversity offsets for national economic development. From research on the biggest hydropower/offset in Uganda, it will produce, and support implementation of, local and national policy guidance for Uganda, and generate lessons internationally.