(Filmmaking, Photography, Film, Radio, TV, Writing website)
Tania is a bilingual Zoologist, wildlife filmmaker and writer with a passion for storytelling and science. A recent 1st-class graduate from the University of Leeds, she is now studying the MA Wildlife filmmaking course partnered with the BBC in Bristol and using her research and creative talents to film blue-chip wildlife documentaries. She strives raise awareness about conservation through powerful, emotive visuals and story.
Currently the producer/director and camera for A Lion’s Tale, her student wildlife documentary film as part of the UWE Bristol & BBC masters and for the Born Free Foundation with Virginia McKenna & Will Travers about the human-lion conflict in Meru National Park. She also had exclusive press pass access to the major Ivory burn event in Nairobi.
Filming at the Ivory Burn 30th April, Nairobi National Park.
She has also created and produced two award-winning factual radio programmes, Weekly Wildlife Watch and the Travel Talk Show on LSRfm, as well as a blog to share her love for the natural world. She has also designed and conducted 10 months of solo research on bat habitat suitability modelling in the field, using complex statistical, geographical mapping software (ArcGIS) to highlight the fascinating behaviours of these flying mammals in urban and rural areas. This project and final year’s work gained her a 1st class degree as well as an honours award on the Dean’s List of Academic excellence.
Volunteering as a film intern and tour guide in South Africa built up her knowledge of animal habits and habitats as well as ways of finding and getting close to them. Tania is a keen extreme adventure sportswoman and enjoys caving, rock climbing, horse riding, kayaking as well as competitive running.
Currently studying for an MA Wildlife filmmaking in partnership with the BBC, she is learning about all areas of the industry including camerawork, lighting, sound, editing, grading, producing/directing and scriptwriting. Tania’s enthusiasm and curiosity for natural history has also led to her engaging with the public and science communication outreach, as well as volunteering for a multiplatform virtual reality “vEcotourism” project to help raise conservation funds for the great apes.
“We are born to explore and pursue our own firsts, however we define them, whether that means the outer limits of the known physical map, the inner chasms of our imagination, or our own identity.”
Research at Leeds University
Last summer (2014), I was fortunate to get my first choice for a research project; investigating the species richness and abundance of British bats from an urban to rural landscape, and multi-scale analysis of habitat relationships. My supervisor is renowned for his superlative work on several bat species, and he allowed me to come up with a new and innovative way in which to use the bat detecting gear that I was provided with. Armed with an Ultrasonic Bat detector, GPS, Edirol recording device and an OS map, I decided I wanted to focus on construct habitat suitability models across an urban to rural landscape- as this current area of research lacks attention, and yet is one of the most pertinent in an ever urbanized world. It involved looking at how bat activity and foraging distributions change from an urban to rural environment, (Leeds to the boundary of the Yorkshire Dales National Park), taking into account habitat features and variables such as inland water, urban cover, woodland edge and coniferous forest, in relation to bat activity. Across 30 transect study sites, I recorded bat acoustic activity, as well as the exact location of the tracks using GPS to be able to geo-reference where the bats were, along with the saved WAV recordings. The next stage of the project involves the use of ArcGIS to create buffers and habitat layers. With this I will be able to work out any relationships between the individual bats and certain environmental variables. What I hope to achieve is to aid with improving management and conservation strategies that can be implemented to protect and conserve them in their urban as well as natural habitats. This is vital in the foreseeable future as the human populations grows and habitat loss contributes to a decline in their numbers. It is incredibly rewarding to have achieved a successful method of collecting the data and researching the subject sufficiently to proceed with the next stages of project- and although the dangers of doing the transects at night, remote locations, weather, and the complex statistical data analysis have all been challenging, it has been worth it!
The world and all its species is precious to us all; the creation of this website is to share my passion for photography and for wildlife, but most of all to inspire others to continue to care and make a difference to the lives of animals and humans for generations to come. I very much look forward to all the adventures that await me!