Derek has had a lifelong passion for conservation, It was when he was introduced to Christian the Lion his interest went to another level. Derek was a young London Fleet Street based photographer and when asked by Christian’s owners John Rendall and Anthony Bourke if he would be prepared to document Christian’s life in London he enthusiastically agreed.
The resulting photographs taken in London, and later when Christian was flown to Kenya to be rehabilitated by George Adamson are a remarkable record of Christian’s life have been published in “A Lion Called Christian’, (in 25 languages) and most recently in 'Christian the Lion the Illustrated Legacy’, written by John.
To a Worldwide following.
`The lion population in Africa has seen a dramatic reduction year on year, if we don’t spread the word of conservation now these great beasts will no longer be seen in the true wild`
Derek is honored to become a Trustee of Lionaid, and Through his Christian the Lion Print exhibitions, lectures and the sale of Christian the Lion prints, he has been able to help with the important need to raise funds for Lionaid and more over spread the word for conservation and awareness these amazing creatures need.
Diane was born in London but grew up in Africa, first in Tanzania and later in Kenya. Diane considers Africa to be her spiritual home and has said that if she wasn’t working as an actress, she would be working in conservation. In her own words:
"I think we all have our place in the bigger picture, and a role to play in looking after it."
We are absolutely delighted that Diane Keen is a Patron of LionAid and her ambassadorial talent will be of enormous benefit to our work in protecting and saving lions.
LionAid has their own Scottish Lion in the shape of James Cosmo, the wonderful actor well known for his appearances in films such as Braveheart, Highlander, and Troy as well as television series such as Game of Thrones.
James was appalled to hear about the plight of lions in Africa especially about trophy hunting and the raising of captive bred lions to support the sordid canned hunting industry. As a LionAid Patron James is very keen to show his support and help the cause for lions wherever he can.
Dr Pieter Kat, Director
Dr Pieter Kat is an internationally acknowledged expert on lions and is regularly consulted by African governments on lion conservation issues.
Pieter was born in Singapore (the Lion City) and spent his early life in Singapore, Malaysia and New Guinea where his interest in biology took root. His tertiary education took place in the USA where he gained a BSc at the University of Rochester (Biology and Geology), an MSc in Marine Biology at the University of Delaware and an MA and PhD in Ecology and Evolution at Johns Hopkins University.
Next he spent ten years working at the National Museums of Kenya to develop and enhance biological research programmes, including studies of biodiversity in the African Great Lakes, genetic diversity among bovid species (eg antelopes) of East Africa, genetics and ecology of predators of the Masai Mara and other areas (African Wild Dogs, Lions, African Wild Cats, Servals and Jackals), and diseases likely to affect predators across Kenya.
This was followed by two years at the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, USA researching rabies virus genetics, African horse sickness, canine distemper, Rift Valley Fever and bluetongue virus amongst carnivores.
Pieter was then invited by the Government of Botswana to study lion populations and to make recommendations for their conservation, and established the Okavango Lion Conservation Programme in northern Botswana. The lion research focused on ecology, reproduction, disease prevalence and human/wildlife conflict. After twelve years in Botswana, he is now focused on a diversity of activities through the charity LionAid to assist the conservation of lions such as working with decision makers in the UK, EU and African lion range states to ensure better protection of remaining lions, seeking sustainable means of reducing lion/livestock conflict, encouraging further research on diseases threatening lions and calling for lion population surveys.
Pieter continues to play an important role in scientific research and has authored more than 70 scientific papers to date. He regularly works with media (Radio, television and newspapers) sharing his deep knowledge of Lions.
Christine MacSween, Director & Founder
Chris is an integral and highly respected figure within lion conservation, whose diligent lobbying has resulted in ongoing, proactive, political, discussions addressing the plight of the species.
Her passion and wealth of knowledge regarding the Lion, is evident through her many media interviews, both nationally and internationally, making her a highly sought after contributor to the cause.
Chris obtained her BA in Manchester in 1979. In 1998 she was admitted as a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Management Accountants (CIMA). She served on the CIMA Council between 2002 and 2006. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She was the Président-directeur gnérale (PDG) of a company in France for seven years before returning to the UK.
Back in the UK, she subsequently became the Managing Director of three consumer electronic companies between the years of 1998 and 2009, in each case taking responsibility for the control, planning and development of the business and establishing strong brand awareness and new products in the fast developing consumer marketplace.
For the last ten years, Chris has been applauded as an engaging and educated public speaker, who has held court in large conservation events in the United Kingdom, the EU and beyond.
Chris also works with Dr Kat delivering higher education presentations and lectures. In addition to this, LionAid run regular skype lessons bringing lions into classrooms across the globe.