Our Team

team-mikeMike Chase (PhD), Director/Founder

Botswana born, Mike Chase, (PhD), has been studying the ecology of elephants since 2001 and was the first Motswana to receive his doctorate specifically in elephant ecology. Much of his childhood was spent in the bush accompanying his father on safaris. Eager to conserve Africa’s wildlife and wild places, Chase embarked on an academic career in conservation ecology. After earning a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Natal, he returned home to Botswana, where he spent eight years with a large NGO working to conserve the Okavango Delta and its rich wildlife. It was his passion for elephants, which ultimately led him to start an ambitious study on the ecology and movements of elephants. He received his PhD from the University of Massachusetts in natural resources and wildlife conservation. During his studies, he founded Elephants without Borders to continue his lifelong endeavour. In 2015, MIke bestowed the “Presidential Order of Meritorious Service Award” by Botswana’s President, His Excellency S.K.I. Khama for exceptional service to the country and conservation efforts. He has provided new data on the status of elephants and other wildlife identified cross-border corridors, discovered new migration routes and has published his work in scientific journals, magazines and news articles. Mike conceptualized and was the Principal Investigator, leading the massive initiative Great Elephant Census.

Kelly Landen, Administrator/Co-Founder

Kelly joined Mike on the project in early 2003, together they co-founded and built EWB into a successful operating organization. Her enthusiasm for wildlife inspired her to a dedicated career in conservation. She began as a volunteer, monitoring and collecting data on a variety of wildlife species for several conservation projects, as well as, worked as a naturalist/field guide in Alaska, Central America, and South America. She spent many years working on the oceans for the UNOLS fleet of oceanographic research vessels, before setting roots in Botswana. Kelly oversees all aspects of EWB’s operations, including the environmental education and elephant orphanage programs, and participates in much of the fieldwork. She is a professional photographer and her work has been featured in a number of prestigious magazines, web sites, scientific publications and journals and news articles.

Isaiah “Izzy” Mwezi, Programs Assistant/Coexistence Leader

Izzy comes from the small village of Kavimba in Chobe, the home of Basubia tribe in Botswana. He was first hired as a field assistant, working in the Chobe Enclave villages as part of EWB’s mitigation and co-existence projects. However, quickly his varied talents were obvious, so we are pleased he has joined us full-time to assist in other aspects of our initiatives. Gratefully, he is always eager to help out with the elephant calves at the orphanage, when needed. Chobe is home to Africa’s largest elephant population and Izzy says “growing up around these giants has, with time, created my passion for wildlife in general, which motivated my interest in joining the team at EWB,” “Re a Somarela we Conserve

EWB’s Researchers (click here) EWB is a strong and capable organization, but we recognize the vital role of forming strategic alliances and partnerships with institutions, organizations and individuals who share a common vision and purpose, in order to reach a common goal in conservation at a meaningful scale through scientific research and data.

To read scientific papers of EWB research, please visit our Publications page to download!

Field Support

EWB’s field support & staff have many years of varied bush experience. They are vital to the success of our operations and ensure comfort and security while operating in very remote areas, often under difficult conditions.

Gagoope Tsukotsuko, as a San, he adds a wealth of local knowledge, being comfortable in the bush for months on end. And despite his quiet yet personable demeanour, Gao manages to keep the EWB camps and facility functioning in a professional, orderly manner.

Kabo “KB” Kakana comes from Kazangula, the 4-country border town, where EWB has their offices. He brings enthusiasm to our programs, eager to participate and learn about conservation. KB supervises any EWB temporary staff, field staff and team that maintains the EWB facilities. 

Lunza Ruth Mangisi is from a small village in the Chobe region called “Mabele”, which means sorghum. Ruth was initially a farmer in the Side-by-Side program and because she was so enthusiastic of the results, she eagerly agreed to join the team, as a field assistant. She offers her talents as an active, respected community representative. She is  a woman of many talents and has years of experience working in the “bush,” as cook and safari escort-guide. Ruth also is a passionate palm basket-weaver and owns a roadside basket shop.

 Moathodi “Motty” Kebathokile is very enthusiastic and eager to learn. He assumed the role as a community liaison in our Side-by-Side program, representing his village of Makalamabedi, which is located off the Boteti river outside of Maun. When he is not checking up on our program’s farming participants or documenting elephant activity in the area, he enjoys spending his time playing soccer and looks after his family’s livestock.

Expertise Support: Pilots and Wildlife Veterinarians

EWB owes a considerable debt of gratitude to the many wildlife vets and pilots, both fixed-wing and helicopter, who work with us on all of our field projects, including: wildlife rescue, aerial surveys, wildlife monitoring & tracking,  and at the Kasane Intensive Care Unit for elephant orphans.

Wildlife Veterinarians: Dr. Larry Patterson, Dr. Rob Jackson, Dr. Mark Bing, Dr. Caron Botes, Dr. Johanne Marais, Roger Parry and Liz O’Brien. 

Fixed wing pilots: Tammi McAllister, Mike Holding (Afriscreen Productions), Alexis Peltier (Air Adventures), Sven Bourquin, Jonathon Lea, and Alan Parnass (Wings for Wildlife)
Helicopter pilots: Andrew Baker and Michael Drager (Helicopter Horizons), Mogomotse Gaebepe (Pyrus Eagles), Peter Perlstein (Okavango Helicopter)