Sean Hensman

Sean graduated from Canterbury Christ Church University in Kent, UK with a BA / BSC in Tourism and Leisure with Business Management. His aim was then, and is now, to develop a tourism product that promotes educational values as well as conservation values in a holistic manner. Sean believes that there are many things to learn from elephants and has actively pursued research in various fields from the uses of elephants as bio-detectors (for tracking criminals to  remotely finding landmines and drugs) to communication and Human Elephant Conflict Resolutions.  He currently resides at AWE in Bela Bela, South Africa.


Jenny Griesel

Jenny is a marketing and media specialist based in Gauteng, with a passion for conservation.  She has lent her marketing flair to various environmental projects, successfully assisting them to reach their goals by combing an understanding of conservation with innovative marketing strategies. Jenny also invests a significant amount of her time in rhino protection, for which she was recently presented with a Rhino Conservation Award by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Game Rangers Association of Africa. She has a BA Honours in Media Management, and has studied Environmental Law through UNISA.


Katharina von Dürckheim

Katharina is currently based out of Stellenbosch University, conducting her PhD on elephant olfaction and kin recognition. She works out of the Department of Animal Science and the Department of Conservation Ecology.  Katharina is a strong business development professional with an MBA from the Stellenbosch Business School, and a Master of Science (MSc) focused in Conservation Ecology from Stellenbosch University.  

Katharina is an experienced Research Affiliate with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry, and skilled in Academic Research, Conservation Consulting, Natural Resource Management, Environmntal Education, and African Wildlife and Conservation Issues.


Stephanie Braccini Slade, PhD


Stephanie is the Vice President of Living Collections at Birmingham Zoo (Alabama, USA) and faculty at the University of Alabama Department of Biological Sciences. In her professional role, Stephanie strives to empower animals in human care to have more choice and control. Her research interests include adapted feeding strategies in elephants with trunk injuries and behavioral laterality. After three years of working with the RHCRU team her love and respect of elephants has only grown.

S Slade RHCRU Director.jpg