Previous Staff

Programme Director

MBrownMark holds a position as honorary researcher at the School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, and is a Y2 NRF rated scientist. Mark has published over 80 scientific publications in peer reviewed journals, was a contributing author to Robert’s VII Birds of Southern Africa, has authored several book chapters, and has presented research papers at national and international conferences. Mark has co-supervised over 30 postgraduate students, and is passionate about mentoring young conservationists.

He regularly reviews papers for national and international journals, has written numerous popular science articles, and given many public presentations. After working on staff at the University of KwaZulu-Natal for over 12 years, while volunteering with several prominent conservation NGO’s (BirdLife South AfricaEndangered Wildlife TrustA Rocha: South Africa), Mark stepped across the gap and has moved full-time into the NGO environment. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of BirdLife South Africa, and is an Associate Editor for the Journal Ostrich (African Journal of Ornithology). Mark has won numerous national and international awards for his research and conservation work.

To see his full publication list - pop across to his Research Gate page.



Conservation Education Manager


Cindy-Lee Cloete 

Cindy has a National Diploma in Nature Conservation from Cape Peninsula University of Technology and after completed her experiential training at Wolfgat Nature Reserve, became part of the City of Cape Town’s Biodiversity Branch intern intake. During this time she worked in both the Wolfgat and Macassar Dunes Nature Reserves. With a passion for Environmental Education Cindy-Lee soon became a proficient educator and excels at teaching people about their specific environmental surroundings as well as conservation principles. Becoming the Conservation Education Director for the Nature’s Valley Trust in October 2009 fulfilled one of Cindy’s life-long goals in not only being a link between nature and people, but also to effect the change she wants to see in the world. Cindy was one of the first 500 Mandela Fellowship Young African Leaders Initiative participants in 2014, brainchild of President Obama. Being chosen as one of the 500, out of 50 000 applicants, and being further chosen as one of 100 participants offered a further two month internship in the USA has been a highlight of Cindy’s career. Cindy is currently doing her Masters in Environmental Education at Rhodes University in Grahamstown.




Conservation Educator

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Mardré Cupido (April 2018 - December 2018)

Mardré is a Conservation educator at the Nature Valley Trust. She is a thriving Boland girl, who grew up in Robertson. She holds a BSc. Medical Biosciences degree from the University of the Western Cape. For her thesis she completed a research project on Malaria. After which, she taught for over 3 years at both primary and high schools. Her main subjects were mathematics, mathematics literacy, life sciences and Afrikaans. She will also be completing her PGCE diploma at UNISA in 2018.

She developed a keen interest in life sciences at university and this has fueled her passion for conservation, teaching learners and creating awareness in communities. This is how she now find herself working for NVT, with their main pillars focused on conservation, community awareness, environmental education and ecological research fitting well into her life goals.

Her goals while working at NVT is to open doors to the environment, connecting learners with their surrounding and cultivating a love for nature and sustainable utilization of it. She would also like to be more involved in the research projects NVT has to offer, to continue learning and fueling her love for the life sciences and conservation biology. 


Conservation Ecologist

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Craig Midgley (November 2016 - November 2018)

Craig, born and raised in Gauteng, completed his M.Sc in Fisheries Science from Rhodes University in 2014. A career change followed when he became a bird and wildlife rehabilitator at SANCCOB (Cape Town) and Tenikwa Wildlife rehabilitation Centre (Plettenberg Bay).

He completed a 3 month shorebird internship at Nature’s Valley Trust from September-November 2015, and when the opportunity arose to join the NVT staff in November 2016, he couldn’t pass it up.

Craig headed the line-fisheries research component of the Coastal Impact Programme (#ShareTheShores) and assisted in the various environmental education programmes of NVT.