Hi, My name's Jess, I'm a Dutch nature writer and otter biologist and an avid nature photographer. I'm fortunate to have had an adventurous childhood and conservation career, both of which have led me to many unique places and memorable experiences.
I was born in Bogota, Colombia, and lived as a child in Burkina Faso, Holland, Tanzania, and the UK. After completing my Bachelors and Masters degrees in London, my work in conservation took me from monitoring the charismatic and irrepressible giant otter in Peru's lush rainforests, to helping to protect black rhinos in Zambia, both with the Frankfurt Zoological Society.
Currently, I work as Communications Coordinator of the Cocha Cashu Biological Station in Manu National Park, Peru, for San Diego Zoo Global. With colleagues at Oxford University's Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, I published a couple of peer-reviewed scientific papers and a book chapter summarising 16 years of field data on giant otter demography and ecology.
My nature writing influences come from these and other experiences, such as two years spent sailing the North Atlantic with my family when I was six years old (I'm the curly headed one in the photo below). My wildlife stories and articles have been published in BBC Wildlife Magazine, Earth Island Journal, Africa Geographic, The Island Review, Zoomorphic, Sevenseas, and Animal: A Beast of a Literary Magazine, amongst others. My latest book, about giant otters, was published in February 2019. My blog was Highly Commended in the International Category of the BBC Wildlife Blogger Awards in 2015, and I'm a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Writers.
Curious to read more? Here's an interview I did with Mary Woodbury, publisher at Moon Willow Press and curator of Eco-Fiction.com. And here's one on the environmental news site Mongabay about my work with giant otters.