The Move to Namibia
In 1990, Dr. Marker moved to Namibia and drove door-to door, talking with farmers. These interactions inspired Dr. Marker to develop highly effective, non-lethal predator control methods. Dr. Marker also stabilized the wild cheetah population in Namibia and helped develop cheetah conservation programs in several other African countries and in Iran, where the last Asiatic cheetahs are found.
After more than a decade of commuting to Namibia, Dr. Marker made the decision to leave her post as Executive Director of the Center for New Opportunities in Animal Health Sciences at the Smithsonian Institution (NOAHS, 1988-1991), relocate to Namibia, and dedicate her life to the long-term sustainability of the species.
Initially rebuffed by Namibians fearing change, Dr. Marker’s rigorous scientific research, creative conservation programs, and unique holistic philosophy that considers all stakeholders as well as the livelihoods of people sharing the cheetah’s habitat, have gained her the respect of an entire nation. The vital information she has assembled on cheetah health, reproduction, ecology and genetics – taken along with the nearly 1,000 cheetahs she has worked on – has proven invaluable in the management of both wild and captive cheetah populations around the world.
Recognition for Dr. Marker
Dr. Marker earned her DPhil in Zoology from the University of Oxford in the UK. She has published more than 80 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals and is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post.
In 2015, she was recognized with an Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal Award, an E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Technology Pioneer Award, and the Ulysses S. Seal Award for Innovation in Conservation. In 2013, she was named an A.D. White Professor-at-Large with Cornell University.
Dr. Marker has been awarded the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement (2010), The Tech Museum of Innovation’s Intel Environmental Prize (2008), and is a two-time finalist for the prestigious Indianapolis Prize.
She was named a Hero for the Planet by TIME Magazine and has been featured in Smithsonian, National Geographic, Discover and The New York Times, as well as participating in numerous television and radio interviews around the world.