The Mount Elgon Foundation has four trustees, a part time Trust Administrator and some key advisers. The wider team consists of the Mount Elgon Elephant Project personnel and those involved in cultural heritage research.
Christopher Powles, Trustee Chair
Christopher was born in Kenya in 1963 and has a strong connection with Mount Elgon, being the grandson of the Founder of Kenya’s Mount Elgon National Park. He visits Mount Elgon regularly. In his professional life he is involved in the financing of renewable energy projects and smaller businesses. He read zoology at Oxford and lives in Oxfordshire where he also chairs his local wildlife group and plays an active role in hedgehog conservation.
Dr Emmanuel Ndiema, Trustee
Emmanuel is Senior Research Scientist and Head of Archaeology at National Museums of Kenya and leads the cultural heritage research on Mount Elgon. He was born on Mount Elgon, his home remains on the slopes of the mountain and his ancestors lived in Mount Elgon’s caves. He has a PhD from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, USA and he is an Affiliated Scientist at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany.
Aiden Doyle, Trustee
Aiden was born in Eldoret, Kenya in 1948 – not far from Mount Elgon. He went to Kitale School before moving within Kenya to go to secondary school and for work. His career was in business and that took him to southern Africa until he retired to Bournemouth in the UK. His link with Mount Elgon remains through organising the Kitale School Alumni Association. The Elgon area is very close to his heart – alongside rugby, another passion.
Antony Jarvis, Trustee
Born in Kitale in 1961 Antony lived in Kenya until he was 19 when he moved to the UK for University. He qualified as an accountant in 1991, working in the retail motor industry for most of his career. Many of his early years were spent on the slopes of Mount Elgon where his grandfather had a tea estate; he climbed the mountain (Koitobos peak) as a teenager. Antony is a keen cyclist and walker. Married to Julia, Antony has three children and two grandchildren.
Charles Kerfoot, Key Adviser
Charles was born in Kitale in 1947, went to Kitale Primary School followed by secondary school in Nairobi. He spent his youth roaming Mount Elgon with his local Sabaot friends who he keeps in touch with via modern technology. His fluent Swahili and passion for Elgon, its people and wildlife are extremely valuable to the Mount Elgon Foundation. He is also actively involved in preserving the remaining Northern Jarrah Forest in south western Australia.
Stephen Powles, Key Adviser
Stephen has a lifelong association with Mount Elgon. Formerly a vet, he changed career to pursue a passion for wildlife, wildlife photography, filming and conservation – attributes which he brings to the work of the Foundation. His photography concentrates on interesting and challenging wildlife subjects, often in or close to his home. As well as giving presentations, he and his material have made a number of TV appearances.
Olivia Stanton, Trust Administrator
Following an early career where Olivia worked in a variety of industries ranging from investment banking recruitment to mining, she took a career break to focus on her family life and now lives in Hampshire as a mother to two sons. Her interests lie in the outdoors, she is a qualified sailing instructor and she completed a transatlantic crossing in 2011. She works for the Foundation in a part-time capacity as the Trust Administrator.
MOUNT ELGON ELEPHANT PROJECT
Dr Zeke Davidson, Strategic Adviser
Zeke has 20-year career in wildlife conservation, including until December 2019 as Kenya Country Director for the Zoological Society of London. His extensive landscape, wildlife and ecosystem monitoring and evaluation experience includes the design, implementation and reporting on large scale projects in big landscapes. He has mentored and developed both small and large wildlife conservation teams. His current personal passion is for bee keeping.
Lizbeth Mate, Project Manager
Lizbeth has worked in community-based conservation for the last ten years. Her expertise is in project planning, administration and partnership management. She has managed projects in the drylands of northern Kenya as well as on Mount Elgon. She holds a Master of Arts Degree in Project Planning and Management from the University of Nairobi and Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Relations from USIU-Africa.
Clarine Kigoli, Data Technician
Clarine has very strong experience in the use of conservation technologies such as camera trapping, remote sensing, Cybertracker and SMART – critical to the Foundation’s work on Mount Elgon. Her passion for conservation was ignited in 2012 after working on an internship program on the study of Grevy’s zebras in northern Kenya. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business and Information Technology from African Nazarene University.
Community Scouts Team
Our community scouts team comprises of nine local men who have lived all their life on Mount Elgon. They were chosen for their knowledge of the area and their ability to operate modern hand held technology. They are trained in SMART and Cybertracker being used by MEEP to do detailed mapping and other work on the mountain. They are supported by a retired former Kenya Wildlife Service ranger who, after leaving Kenya Wildlife Service, led a previous team of community scouts on the Kenya side of Mount Elgon.
CULTURAL HERITAGE RESEARCH
Research into cultural heritage on Mount Elgon, Kenya has been led by a trustee of the Mount Elgon Foundation, Dr Emmanuel Ndiema (see above). Others involved in this work are as below.
Dr. Purity Kiura, Director for Museums Sites and Monuments, National Museums of Kenya
Purity completed her Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Anthropology in 2005 at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, USA. Her research interests have included human origins and technology as well as human subsistence and settlement patterns. In addition, she is interested in the study of modern peoples, landscapes and environments in East Africa as well as being involved in conservation and awareness building efforts for Kenya’s prehistory heritage.
Rahab Kinyanjui, Senior Research Scientist, National Museums of Kenya
Rahab is Senior Research Scientist, Palynology and Paleobotany Section, Earth Sciences Department at the National Museums of Kenya. She has been engaged in various research projects in East Africa for more than 10 years which has included the cultural heritage research on Mount Elgon. Her main focus is the application of phytolith studies in reconstructing vegetation during Plio-Pleistocene and Holocene environments of East Africa.
As well as those above currently involved in our work, the Foundation acknowledges others who currently or in the past have helped our work or on whose previous work we are building. These include Alex Charlesworth, Bob Anderson, Diana Roberts, Samson Kiboi and those involved in the previous Mount Elgon Elephant Monitoring (MEEM) Team, notably Born Free Foundation, Ian Redmond and Tony Mills.
Banner: Mount Elgon Foundation trustee, MEEP scout, Kenya Forest Service rangers, Kenya Wildlife Service ranger and member of the local community on a cave visit, Forest Reserve, Kenya. (Credit: Christopher Powles.)