I am Australian student now living in Northern Botswana, working as a biologist for a local NGO called “Elephants Without Borders”. I have been a part of the Roger’s lab since 2008. I am primarily interested in conservation biology, whereby the research has impactful outcome, in both the terrestrial and marine world.



I am currently researching human –elephant coexistence strategies based in the Chobe district, Northern Botswana. Botswana has the largest population of elephants in the world, with one of the smallest human populations, which create a complex issue of high rates of Human-Elephant conflict. The research focuses on determining elephant movement and behaviour within community areas and hotspot conflict locations. Based on the understanding we have of urban elephant ecology I test and trialling different mitigation strategies in relieving the conflict while allowing elephants and human, to occupy the same space. The research incorporates a number of different scientific disciplines including spatial and home range analysis, elephant behaviour ecology and human geography.


I also work as an aerial observer for wildlife population counts throughout Africa. We do both strip and total counts depending on the nature of the survey, from both fixed winged planes and helicopters. I have been fortunate enough to have surveyed in Botswana, Zambia, Angola and Kenya.


I studied a Bachelor or Environmental Science, specialising in Biology at UNSW, and went on to first class honours for my honours thesis. I am finalising corrections on my PhD thesis entitled “How can humans and elephants coexist in Botswana?”, under the supervision of Dr Keith Leggett, Dr Julian Fennessey and Associate Professor Tracey Roger’s.


I initially started my career working in the Roger’s lab, looking on a leopard vocalisations to determine density estimates in Antarctica. This then lead to me being involved with conducting leopard seal playback experiments with captive animals, to determine learning capabilities. I went on to do my honours thesis on blue whales vocalisations of the east and southern coast of Australia, and examining species presence and density estimations.  I was accepted to do a summer research internships in Kenya with the NGO, “Save the Elephants”, based in Kenya, working on the monitoring the illegal killing of elephants (MIKE) program  additionally I worked on a long term mammal census and elephant database for the area. 


I am interested in conservation ecology, applied conservation outcomes, photography, running, surfing, snorkelling.


Tripovich, J.S., Klinck, H., Nieukirk, S.L., Adams, T., Mellinger, D.K., Balcazar, N.E., Klinck, K., Hall, E.J. and Rogers, T.L., 2015. Temporal segregation of the Australian and Antarctic blue whale call types (Balaenoptera musculus spp.).Journal of Mammalogy, 96(3), pp.603-610.


Adams, T., Chase, M., Rogers, T. and Leggett, K. (InPress). Taking the elephant out of the room and into the corridor: can urban corridors work?. Oryx.


  • First Class Honours- 2011

  • Crispin Rice University medal- Excellence in Community outreach, 2013

  • Australian Postgraduate Award- Australian Government , 2012-2014

Elephants by Tempe Adams
Elephants2 by Tempe Adams