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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  People  /  Research Students  /  Joshua Powell

Joshua Powell


Department of Geography
University College London
North-West Wing
Gower Street


Web:, or profiles with: London NERC DTP and National Geographic



Prof. Sarah Durant, Institute of Zoology (ZSL)

Dr Jan Axmacher, University College London

Dr Linda Kerley, ANO Amur in partnership with ZSL, Russia

Dr John Ewen, Institute of Zoology (ZSL)



Project Title: Challenges and Opportunities for Transboundary Conservation of Amur tigers (Panthera tigris tigris) in North-East Asia

My research interests are broadly concerned with the ecology and conservation of rare and globally threatened species, particularly focussed on terrestrial mammal populations.

My current research investigates opportunities and challenges for the transboundary conservation of large carnivores in north-east Asia, primarily concerned with the Endangered Amur tiger (Panthera tigris tigris), the world’s largest extant cat. This necessitates the use of a range of research techniques from both the biological and social sciences, within an inter-disciplinary framework, in order to evaluate threats to transboundary Amur tiger populations at both a local and regional scale, as well as the potential opportunities and limitations for conservation interventions, including: international wildlife law, conservation translocations and mitigation of human-tiger conflict. Funding for this project is provided by the London NERC Doctoral Training Programme (DTP).

As part of my broader research interests in the conservation of endangered species, I am the Founder and Expedition Leader of Rangers Without Borders, a conservation research programme focussed on the work of wildlife rangers. Our work with Rangers Without Borders to-date has been targeted at Central Asia, the Caucasus and Eastern Europe. In addition, I maintain research interests in island conservation, the subject of my Churchill Fellowship.

I am a National Geographic Explorer and one of the faces of WWF’s #WWFVoices campaign on global biodiversity.



PhD Student, London NERC DTP PhD Studentship, Institute of Zoology and University College London, UK, 2019-Present

MES Master of Environmental Studies, concentration: Environmental Biology, University of Pennsylvania, USA, 2014-2016

BSc (Hons) Geography, University of Nottingham, UK, 2011–2014


Selected Employment

Policy Advisor, Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), 2018-2019

Founder & Expedition Leader, Rangers Without Borders, 2017-Present

Churchill Fellow (New Zealand, Australia, Fiji), Winston Churchill Memorial Trust UK, 2017


Selected Awards and Scholarships

Scientific Exploration Society Explorer Award for Inspiration and Scientific Trail-blazing, research grant, 2019

National Geographic Grant, research grant, 2017-2018

Churchill Fellowship, research and travel fellowship, 2017

St Gallen Symposium ‘Leader of Tomorrow’, honorary award, 2016

Thouron Award, full academic scholarship, 2014-2016

University Prize (Geography), academic award - top in school, 2014

Geography Prize, academic award - top in department, 2014



Post-graduate teaching assistant in Genetics, Evolution & Environment (GEE), University College London.

Regular guest lecturer for schools, universities and specialist travel companies around the world, including: UK, USA, South Korea, South Georgia & Falkland Islands, Svalbard & Franz