Barbara Croes graduated from Utrecht University in 2000 with a doctorate degree on the socio-ecology of Thomas’ leaf monkeys in Sumatra, Indonesia. She subsequently completed a BSc Honours degree in Wildlife Management at TUKS University in South Africa. A position as field research coordinator for the Smithsonian Institution’s Biodiversity Program in Gabon provided a first opportunity to fulfill her long cherished wish of working in wildlife conservation in Africa. The research focused on the impacts of oil industry infrastructure and bushmeat hunting on forest wildlife.
Stationed at the Centre for Environment and Development Studies in Maroua, Cameroon from 2006, Barbara became involved in conservation and research specifically targeted at large carnivores. Under the established research program led by Leiden University, she set up, managed and supervised a research project focusing on the ecology and distribution of lion, leopard, spotted hyena and wild dog in relation to local differences in management regimes.
It was during this period that Barbara started working with The Leo Foundation for the first time. The collaboration involved the initiation of the Lion Guards Project in the Bénoué Complex and the development of the Large Carnivore Initiative for West and Central Africa. Until 2011 she coordinated several lion tagging operations in Bénoué and Waza National Park, provided trainings to park staff, contributed to the development of the first ever post-academic curriculum for wildlife managers in the region, and organized a number of conferences aiming at bringing together conservationists to discuss key carnivore conservation issues.
Barbara is currently working as a freelance editor in the general life sciences field, with regular assignments involving the revision of project proposals, scientific papers and academic theses related to ecology and wildlife conservation.