Members of the Black-footed Cat Working Group
Alexander Sliwa

Dr. Alexander Sliwa

Project Leader

  • Curator at Cologne Zoo, Germany
  • Conducted the first ecological and behavioural study on black-footed cat between 1992 – 1998 on Benfontein, Kimberley, Northern Cape Province, South Africa and has led annual field operations of the Working Group since 2005
  • Conducted field research on sand cats (Felis margarita) as co-leader of the Sand Cat Sahara Team (Facebook) in the Moroccan Sahara
  • Invited member of the IUCN Cat Specialist Group
  • Chair of the Felid TAG (Taxon Advisory Group) for the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) with 300 scientifically led zoos as members
  • Former International Studbook Keeper for Black-footed Cat and Coordinator for the Black-footed Cat European Breeding Programme (EEP) while at the Wuppertal Zoo, Germany
  • Also worked in the field on Aardwolf and Gordon’s Wildcat
Beryl Wilson

Beryl Wilson

Project Manager

  • Research Associate at McGregor Museum, Kimberley
  • Completed her MTech degree in 2015 at the Tswane University of Technology on current and historical distribution records of black-footed cats
  • Has been active in black-footed cat research since 1992
  • Wildlife biologist and forensic criminologist by training
  • Patron of the Cat Conservation Trust
Nadine Lamberski, Black-footed Cat Working Group

Dr. Nadine Lamberski

Project Veterinarian

  • Chief Conservation and Wildlife Health Officer, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, Escondido, California, USA
  • Has been working on health and infectious disease monitoring in Black-footed Cats and sympatric small carnivores between 2004
  • Veterinary Advisor to the Black-footed Cat Species Survival Plan (North American breeding programme)
  • Active in national and international veterinary organizations
  • Several in-situ and ex-situ conservation projects involving endangered species such as the thick-billed parrot, desert tortoise, and African elephants
Dr. Jason Herrick

Dr. Jason Herrick

Project Reproductive Biologist

  • Director of Reproductive Sciences, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, Omaha, Nebraska, USA
  • Has conducted research on the basic reproductive biology of Black-footed Cats in captivity
  • Actively involved in research to introduce founder genes into captive populations of Black-footed Cats using cryopreserved semen from wild cats for in vitro fertilization procedures
  • Also involved with studies of reproduction in Sand Cats and other small felids
  • Reproductive Biology Advisor for the Black-footed Cat Species Survival Plan
Dr. Arne Lawrenz

Dr. Arne Lawrenz

Project Veterninarian

  • Veterinarian and Director of Wuppertal Zoo, Germany
  • Veterinary Advisor to the Black-footed Cat EEP (European Endangered Species Programme)
  • Has worked on wild black-footed cats in 1997-1998 and extensively on captive Black-footed Cats
  • Supervisor on dissertation on research into AA-Amyloidosis in wild and captive Black-footed Cats
  • Joined the Black-footed Cat Working Group in 2009
Martina Küsters

Martina Küsters

Project Coordinator: Black-footed Cat Research Project Namibia

  • Field Technician for the BFCWG 2013-2018
  • BTech in Nature Conservation, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa
  • Fifteen years of field work experience in telemetry tracking
  • Collecting distribution records in Namibia since 2012; the species’ northern range
  • Joined the BFCWG as member in 2014
Michelle Schroeder

Michelle Schroeder

Field Researcher

  • Field Technician with the BFCWG since 2019
  • Studied small carnivores in the western US
  • Studied cheetah survival in South Africa for master’s thesis in Conservation Biology at the University of Cape Town
  • Using specially trained dogs for scat detection and subsequent molecular analyses to assess BFC populations, now the focus of her PhD at the University of Cape Town.
Michelle Swanepoel

Michelle Swanepoel

Field Technician

  • Field technician since April 2023
  • Completed Advance Diploma in Nature Conservation in 2023 at Tshwane University of Technology.