I joined WildCRU in 2013 as a DPhil student focusing on a comprehensive ecological investigation of the Persian leopard through a combination of genetic approaches, population analysis and telemetry in NE Iran.
I carried out the first ecological study on the Asiatic cheetah for my bachelor degree, graduating from the University of Tehran in 2006. My masters research on craniometric and genetic analysis of the Persian leopard was made possible through a prestigious scholarship from the Iranian Government until 2010.
In 2001, I co-founded the Iranian Cheetah Society (ICS, http://www.wildlife.ir ), the oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of cheetahs and other wild carnivores in Iran. Since its founding, the Society has become an important stakeholder in Iran’s wildlife conservation efforts. Since 2008, I have been assigned as project deputy of the Conservation of the Asiatic Cheetah Project (CACP) – a comprehensive conservation program established by Iran’s Department of the Environment (DoE). Also, I am leading Iran’s Persian leopard conservation efforts in the Caucasus. Since 2006, I have been a co-founding member of the Iran small felids status assessment initiative, and co-facilitated formation of a series of training programs which resulted in capacity building of more than 70 Iranian experts by IUCN/SSC CSG in 2011.
I have received both international and national awards in recognition of my conservation efforts on wild cats, such as the Rabinowitz-Kaplan Prize for the Next Generation in Wildlife Conservation in 2012 and the Future for Nature Award from Sir David Attenborough in 2009. In Iran I received the National Youth Award in 2010. I have communicated my findings from my work on wild cat conservation in a wide range of publications, with articles on cheetah, leopard, Pallas’s cat, Eurasian lynx, and caracal appearing in both popular and peer-reviewed journals.