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Simon Pooley, D.Phil
Birkbeck University of London


In my doctoral research I studied how humans have understood and used fire in African landscapes. In an interdisciplinary Junior Research Fellowship at Imperial College London, I worked on crocodilian attacks on humans, assembling a 65-year database and considering how physiological and biophysical variables influence attack incidence. Drawing on my history training, this expanded into research on historical human interactions with crocodilians, supplemented by ethnographic research. I became interested in different cultural and epistemological framings of human-wildlife interactions and convinced of the necessity of compassion in the context of predator conservation. A long-term member of the IUCN SSC Crocodile Specialist Group, I was invited to join the IUCN Task Force on Human-Wildlife Conflict (now a Specialist Group) when it was formed in 2016, and am on the Steering Committee. I have been involved in developing social dimensions of HWC work, in particular moving towards a focus on coexistence. I am fascinated with human-wildlife interactions in India, which I have been fortunate to experience in the wetlands of Gujarat. 

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