The Team

Director, Conservation Programs


Benneth Obitte is a PhD student in Dr. Kingston's lab at Texas Tech University, where he focuses on human dimensions of bat hunting across southern Nigeria. Ben has conducted multiple surveys in Nigeria and is very committed to working with local people on community participatory solutions to conservation issues. He co-founded SMACON and oversees the conservation programs by relying heavily on carefully collected evidence. Ben is a National Geographic Explorer.

Director, Research Programs


Iroro Tanshi is a PhD student in Dr. Kingston's lab at Texas Tech University, where she focuses on drivers of bat assemblage structure along elevational gradients. Iroro is a lecturer at the University of Benin, Nigeria, where she has conducted multiple bat surveys across sites in southern Nigeria. Iroro is very passionate about developing local science in West Africa. She co-founded SMACON and drives the research program and capacity building efforts. Iroro is a 2020 recipient of the prestigious Future for Nature award.

Manager, Conservation Education

Iretioluwa Cadmus holds a Masters of Science in Environmental Management. She has volunteered on SMACON field projects since 2019 and enjoys interacting with local community members living on park boundaries. Ireti also has experience working with young children. She brings her expertise to educating and promoting awareness on ecosystem services and fun ways to conserve bats and other biodiversity.

Manager, Community Engagement  

Elizabeth Usen is a Plant ecologist and Teaching Assistant at the the Akwa Ibom state University. She is an alumnus of the Tropical Biology Association field course (2016/Kirindy). Elizabeth is interested in tropical forest ecology and conservation, and explores ways to better engage the public on science through her writing. As a consultant at SMACON she brings her experience with local people engagement.

Manager, Communication and Social Media

Esther Nosazogie is a conservation biologist, ornithologist and science writer. She is also a researcher at the National Oceanography and Marine Research Institute. An alumnus of the A. P. Leventis Ornithological Institute, Esther studies raptors and water birds along the Lagos coastline. Esther is passionate about conservation and communicating science to nonscientists and writes a blog focused on local researchers in Nigeria, an experience that she brings to her role as a consultant at SMACON.