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Julian Fennessy, PhD

Julian is a well-respected conservation manager who has worked across Africa and Australia, and with a range of  local and international partners. Julian has strong and transferable programmatic, research, writing, fundraising and management skills. Combined with his ability to integrate and manage programmes from grass roots to continental scale, his excellent interpersonal skills facilitate good working relationships in multidisciplinary teams and with partners (government and non-government) alike. While working for and managing conservation organisations across Africa and Australia, Julian has developed a solid understanding of policy needs, strategic planning, project management and fundraising requirements, which he can adapt to new situations and needs.

 NATIONALITY Australian, Namibian resident


 2004 PhD in Biological Science Sydney, Australia, University of Sydney

Thesis: The ecology of desert-dwelling giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis angolensis), northwestern Namibia


 Sep 2014 – current Giraffe Conservation Foundation Windhoek, Namibia, Co-Founder & Director

 Sep 2014 – current European Association of Zoo & Aquaria, Conservation Advisor, Giraffe EEP

 Nov 2013 – current University of New South Wales Sydney, Australia, Visiting Fellow

 Jul 2013 – current Dartmouth College New Hampshire, USA, Visiting Scholar

 Sep 2012 – Sep 2014 Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich Windhoek, Namibia, Consultant - Team Leader

 Jul 2010 – Nov 2013 Namibia Nature Foundation Windhoek, Namibia, Director/Technical Advisor

 Jan 2012 – Jan 2013 African Wildlife Foundation West Africa, Part-Time Consultant 

 Nov 2008 – Jun 2010 Kenya Land Conservation Trust Nairobi, Kenya, Executive Director

 Jul 2007 – Oct 2008 IUCN/SSC African Elephant Specialist Group Nairobi, Kenya, Programme Officer

 Jan 2005 – Jun 2007 Australian Bush Heritage Fund Melbourne, Australia

Conservation Partners & Ecology Manager/Conservation Program Manager


Fennessy, J., Winter, S., Reuss, F., Kumarb, V., Nilsson, M.A., Fritz, U. & Janke. 2016. Giraffe genetic structuring inferred from multi-locus analyses reveals multiple species. Current Biology. 27(4): 137-138.

Muller, Z., Bercovitch, F., Brand, R., Brown, D., Brown, M., Bolger, D., Carter, K., Deacon, F., Doherty, J.B.,  Fennessy, J., Fennessy, S., Hussein, A.A., Lee, D., Marais, A., Strauss, M., Tutchings, A. & Wube, T. 2016. Giraffa camelopardalis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T9194A109326950.

Fennessy, J., Bidon, T., Bock, F., Kumarb, V., Elkan, P., Nilsson, M.A., Vamberger, M., Fritz, U. & Janke. 2016. Giraffe genetic structuring inferred from multi-locus analyses reveals multiple species. Current Biology. 26(18): 2543–2549. Muneza, A. B., Montgomery, R. A.,  Fennessy, J. T., Dickman, A. J., Roloff, G. J., and D. W. Macdonald. 2016. Regional variation of the manifestation, prevalence, and severity of giraffe skin disease: a review of an emerging disease in wild and captive giraffe populations. Biological Conservation. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2016.04.014

Kümpel, N.F., Grange, S. &  Fennessy, J. 2015. Giraffe and okapi: Africa's forgotten megafauna. African Journal of Ecology.  53(2): 132–134.

Flanagan, S., Brown, M.B.,  Fennessy, J. & Bolger, D.T. 2016. Use of Home Range Behavior to Assess Establishment in Translocated Giraffes. African Journal of Ecology. Accepted.

McQualter, K.N. Chase, M.J.,  Fennessy, J.T., McLeod, S.R. & Leggett, K.E.A. 2016. Home ranges, seasonal ranges and daily movements of giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis giraffa) in northern Botswana. African Journal of Ecology.  54(1): 99–102.

Bock, F.,  Fennessy, J., Bidon, T., Tutchings, A., Marais, A., Deacon, F. & Janke, A. 2014. Mitochondrial sequences reveal a clear separation between Angolan and South African giraffe along a cryptic rift valley. BMC Evolutionary Biology.  14: 219 doi:10.1186/s12862-014-0219-7.

Fennessy, J., Bock, F., Tutchings, A., Brenneman, R. & Janke, A. 2013. Mitochondrial DNA analyses show that Zambia's South Luangwa Valley giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis thornicrofti) are genetically isolated. African Journal of Ecology. 51 (4): 635–640.

Suraud J.-P.,  Fennessy, J., Bonnaud, E., Issa, A.M., Fritz, H. & Gaillard, J.-M. 2011. Higher than expected growth rate in an endangered giraffe population: a successful humanwildlife cohabitation. Oryx 46(4): 577-583.

Fennessy, J. & Brown, D. 2010. Giraffa camelopardalis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T9194A12968471. 2.RLTS.T9194A12968471.en.

Fennessy, J. 2009. Home range and seasonal movements of Giraffa camelopardalis angolensis in the northern Namib Desert. African Journal of Ecology. 47 (3): 318–327.

Fennessy, J. 2009. Ecotourism in Northern Kenya Policy Brief. Kenya Land. Conservation Trust & CARE Kenya. Nairobi, Kenya

Fennessy, J. & Brown, D. 2008. Giraffa camelopardalis ssp. peralta. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T136913A4349726. RLTS.T136913A4349726.en.

Leus, K., Breneman, R., Chardonnet, P., Ciofolo, I.,  Fennessy, J., Paoloni, C. & Desbiez, A. 2008. Mission pour la définition du PHVA (Population and Habitat Viability Assessment) de la population de Girafe d’Afrique de l’Ouest (Giraffa camelopardalis peralta) en vue de la formulation d'une stratégie de conservation. Programme Régional Parc W / ECOPAS(Ecosystèmes Protégés en Afrique Soudano-Sahélienne), Niamey, Niger.

Fennessy, J. & Dublin, H. 2008. African Elephant Strategic Framework. Kenya, IUCN.

Balfour, D., Dublin, H.,  Fennessy, J., Gibson, D., Niskanen, L. & Whyte, I.J. 2007. Review of Options for Managing the Impacts of Locally Overabundant African Elephants. IUCN.

Fennessy, S. &  Fennessy, J. 2004. The Hoanib River Catchment in Northwestern Namibia–An environmental handbook for local decision makers and tourists. DRFN, Windhoek, Namibia.

Fennessy, J., Leggett, K. & Schneider, S. 2003. Distribution and Status of the Desertdwelling Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis angolensis), northwestern Namibia. AfricanZoology. 38(1): 184-188.

Numerous project, popular and environmental education materials developed for Government, NGOs and communities


CO-Chair,  IUCN SSC Giraffe & Okapi Specialist Group

Member,  IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group

Member,  Namibia UNESCO Scientific Committee

Member,  Namibian Global Environmental Facility Small Grant Fund

Member,  Namibia National Steering Committee UNCCD CoP 11

Board Member, Programme Advisory Board for PhD in Natural Resources & Spatial

Sciences,  Namibia University of Science & Technology

Coordinator/Facilitator/Organiser –  Giraffe Indaba I, II & III