Researcher biography

Duan was born in Namibia and grew up there and in South Africa’s Kruger National Park.  From his days as a university undergraduate in South Africa he has worked at the interface of science and conservation policy and practice. He focuses on developing partnerships between researchers and NGOs (including the IUCN, WWF, and the IIED), governments, and the private sector to conduct science that informs the development of conservation actions and policies for the complex challenges of the Anthropocene. He completed his PhD at the Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University in 2011 on the resilience of coral reef tourism to global change and crises. Since then, Duan worked for South African National Parks to develop a tourism research program for to support decision-making and management of the trade-offs and synergies between conservation and tourism, and was a postdoctoral research fellow with Hugh Possingham at the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions at The University of Queensland from 2012–16. Duan led The University of Queensland’s component of a multi-partner project (including the World Conservation Monitoring Centre, University of Cambridge, and the Stockholm Environment Institute) to reduce the risks biodiversity from soy supply chains: 

Duan was awarded an Australian Research Council Early Career Fellowship (DECRA) in 2016 and has been working as a Senior Research Fellow at the Environmental Futures Research Institute at Griffith University since then. Much of his work over the past five years have focused on finding sustainable solutions to the Illegal Wildlife Trade crisis that involve and deliver benefits to the communities that live with wildlife. Duan has adjunct appointments at the Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science, School of Biological Sciences at the University of Queensland, and at the Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology and Centre for Complex Systems in Transition at the School of Public Leadership at Stellenbosch University.

Since 2013, Duan has been working actively with policy-makers and international NGOs on the response to Africa’s Illegal Wildlife Trade crisis and contributes to international policy discussions on the illegal wildlife trade through his work with WWF, the International Institute for Environment and Development and the IUCN’s Sustainable Use and Livelihood’s Specialist Group and the World Commission for Protected Areas. Duan is an enthusiastic naturalist and fervent birdwatcher and has developed and led specialist wildlife tours and expeditions in countries around the world.