Leanne Van Der Weyde, Ph.D.
Dr. Leanne Van Der Weyde serves San Diego Zoo Global as the Henderson Endowed Postdoctoral Fellow in Population Sustainability. In this role, she is based in Botswana working on cheetah ecology in non-protected areas. She also serves as the research coordinator for Cheetah Conservation Botswana, where she conducts and manages research projects, as well as working with the local government and community to help protect cheetahs. Given that the majority of cheetahs in Botswana persist in non-protected areas, Leanne’s work is essential in order to better understand human-wildlife conflict issues.
Leanne’s current research focuses on monitoring cheetah activities in farming areas to help determine accurate population numbers and trends, understanding cheetah movement patterns, studying territoriality and the role of scent marking, investigating new mitigation methods to reduce conflict, and elucidating the influence of other carnivores on cheetah movements.
Leanne earned her bachelor’s degree with honours from the University of New South Wales and her doctorate from the University of Western Australia, where she studied reproductive physiology of both captive and free-ranging African wild dogs. She has also spent a significant amount of time working with several great ape projects in central Africa and is now focusing her efforts on carnivore conservation.