Jack Cunningham

Jack’s project investigates the links between wellbeing and environmental shocks in Tanzania’s Wildlife Management Areas.

Photo Credit: Jack Cunningham


I’m a 4th year undergraduate student in Ecological & Environmental Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. Prior to this I studied Electronic & Electrical Engineering at the University of Strathclyde for 2 years, achieving an HND. I have worked with Operation Wallacea as a research assistant in the jungles of the Sulawesi region of Indonesia, performing data collection of biodiversity for the REDD+ scheme. Whilst there, I also completed a 2 week programme in coral reef surveying techniques working in the Wakatobi National park under the guidance of Professor David J. Smith (University of Essex). This gave me first-hand experience of the conflict between wildlife and people’s livelihoods in developing countries, as I was also working very closely with local people.

Project title

An investigation into the effect of threats on the perception of wellbeing in WMAs (Wildlife Management Areas) in Tanzania.

Project description

My interests lie in conservation, particularly the interface between people’s livelihoods and wildlife protection, so as to protect vulnerable people as well as vulnerable wildlife.

My current research project is on how the types of threats people face affect their perception of wellbeing in the WMA (Wildlife Management Area) scheme of Tanzania. I will be presenting the findings of this at the 2018 Scottish Ecology, Environment and Conservation Conference in St. Andrews. Alongside my research project I’m currently running a project with a local primary school in my hometown of Motherwell about the consequences of our food consumption, how the food cycle is related to climate change, and what we can do to help.


Aidan Keane (University of Edinburgh, School of GeoSciences)


BSc Ecological and Environmental Sciences