Young Experts

Iris van der Meer

Iris van der Meer

History: Young Expert at WNF - Zambia
YEP period 2016 - 2018, batch 7

Position after YEP

Wildlife Programme Coordinator at WWF Zambia

YEP Role

My first year with YEP was spend working as programme officer for the Climate Change Programme of HoA-REC&N in Gambella, Ethiopia. I worked on natural resource conservation by promoting integrated landscape management around Gambella National park and using a 400 ha demonstration site, known as the EcoHub, which was used as a learning location for sustainable agriculture practices (permaculture) and ecologically viable NTFP value chain development.
For my second year I changed positions and moved to Zambia where I worked for the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). I was based in Sesheke, the Western Province of Zambia, and worked on wildlife conservation in and around Sioma Ngwezi National Park. Futhermore, I was involved with the strategic development for a nation wide Species & Protected Areas Programme.


Please click here for more information about my project.



  • Interdisciplinary natural resource management
  • Tropical ecology
  • Wildlife conservation
  • Goal-oriented, analytical, accurate, proactive
  • Positive, open-minded, independent


Nationality: Dutch


  • MSc Forest & Nature Conservation of Wageningen University, The Netherlands (2014)
  • Btech Nature Conservation from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa (2011)
  • BSc Biology from Utrecht University, The Netherlands (2009)

Experience before YEP

During and in between my studies I have gained experience in conducting field research in several countries and habitats. During my Btech Nature Conservatio) I have executed various projects in South Africa focused on natural resource management and wildlife conservation. Within my Masters I executed a tropical ecology course in Uganda, the research for my masterthesis in the Pantanal wetlands of Brazil on tree regeneration for the hyacinth macaw, and an internship in Guinea-Bissau on chimpanzee ecology. After graduation in 2014 I started working at the graduate school Production Ecology & Resource Conservation of Wageningen University as PhD programme assistant. Next to my job at the University I worked as junior advisor with Partners for Innovation (1 day per week) in strategic and business planning for Agroforestry Enterprise Development in West-Africa. Currently I work as Young Expert for MetaMeta / Horn of Africa Regional Environment Centre & Network in Gambella, Ethiopia. Furthermore, I am involved as a volunteer for the Kronendak Foundation and for Future for Nature Foundation, both having a focus on international nature conservation.

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Organisation: WNF
Young Experts