Advisory Board


The Advisory Board is comprised of various international experts in the field of animal welfare and management science.

Dr. Keith Lindsay

Dr. Keith Lindsay is a Canadian-British biologist with more than 30 years of experience in elephant research and conservation. Dr. Lindsay’s involvement with elephants dates back to 1977, when he joined the Amboseli Elephant Research Project in southern Kenya.

Beginning by building second-hand radio collars and monitoring vegetation plots, he went on to study feeding ecology, habitat interactions, population demography, seasonal movements and ecosystem change. Now an environmental consultant based in Oxford, United Kingdom, he maintains his strong interest in elephants in all parts of Africa (including Amboseli) and elsewhere in the world, with particular reference to population management, ivory trade and the welfare of elephants held in captivity.

Con Mul

Con Mul is the team leader department of elephants at Ouwehand Zoo in Rhenen (Netherlands). He has experience working with both Asian and African elephants since 1989. This experience includes: elephants reeducate, births supervise, train medical procedures (blood tests, ultrasound), working with bulls and guide introductions. Is familiar with "Hands-off" (Protected contact) and "Hands-on" (Free contact) management practices. He is involved, motivated and very focused on the welfare of animals. Specializes in foot care for elephants and the training of caregivers and their elephants. Find a specific work system important for elephants, which means that there is a clear schedule. Daily washing routine and foot care are of vital importance. The result from this is a good relationship between elephants and their caregiver.

Margaret Whittaker

Ms. Whittaker began her animal career in at the Houston Zoo and since leaving the zoo has worked in nearly all venues housing captive, wild animals. She's worked in zoos, biomedical facilities, aquarium, and in sanctuaries.

Since 1996, she has been an independent animal behavior consultant, and with Active Environments as a behavioral consultant. She works with zoos, biomedical facilities, and sanctuaries in North, Central and South America, Europe, and Asia to develop behavioral management programs for a broad range of species. Her expertise is behavioral management program development which incorporates the use of positive reinforcement training and environmental enrichment techniques to enhance captive animal care and welfare.

She has published numerous papers and book chapters on the benefits of positive reinforcement training, teaches workshops worldwide that focus on: PRT for elephants, primates, and broader workshops for all species; and elephant foot care and management. Her B.S. is in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from Texas A & M University, and she has completed M.A. work in Anthropology at the University of Houston.


Runar Ness

Runar has been a zookeeper, zoo-owner & manager in his native Norway, and a teacher of ethology, positive reinforcement training and safety-protocol all over the world.
As a wolf-expert, he is frequently advising zoo’s, SPCA, Governments & NGOs in matters of wolves and large carnivores. He brings to the table a broad knowledge-base of captive wild animals, behavior, welfare, enrichment, training and animal rescue.
Runar is a former business-man, an excellent engineer & mechanic (with a passion for race-cars) and a true renaissance-man. He brings to EHEES a lifetime of experience, passion, empathy and a skillset that we draw from frequently.
He has volunteered regularly at EHEES since 2017. He also volunteers at San Diego Humane Society, Project Wildlife.

Ed Stewart

In 1984, Mr. Stewart and Ms. Derby founded the Performing Animal Welfare Society - PAWS. As leaders of PAWS, they introduced the legislation to set higher standards for the care and handling of captive wildlife. That bill was signed into law in 1985. In 1985, Ed began initial construction of the original PAWS sanctuary for captive wildlife in Galt, California and years later would oversee the construction of ARK 2000, a 2,300-acre wildlife sanctuary in San Andreas, CA. Ed’s innovative and enriching wildlife habitat designs at ARK 2000 have taken him all over the world as a consultant for other wildlife facilities. Mr. Stewart provides strategic planning consultations to wildlife facilities in India, Cambodia, Norway, New Zealand and other countries. Concurrently, his expertise in wildlife management has helped with rescues and transportation issues and as an international consultant and founder of a Rotary International program to mitigate elephant and human conflicts has led to developing programs in India and Thailand. Ed’s skills in communication are utilized in production of television documentaries on wildlife and animal protection issues. Along with Pat Derby, he and PAWS have been featured on CNN, 20/20, Animal Planet, The Crusaders, Dateline, Animal Planet, The Leeza Show, The Montel Williams Show, and other national media promoting PAWS’ campaigns to protect captive wildlife.


Colleen Kinzley

Director of Animal Care, Conservation and Research, Oakland Zoo. Colleen has been caring for elephants in zoo setting since 1983 with the last 21 years spent at the Oakland Zoo. The Oakland Zoo was the first zoo to convert all their elephants to Protected Contact in 1991. Since that time Colleen has been an advocate for Protected Contact management and out spoken critic of out dated management practices such as the use of the bull hook, long term chaining, and using elephants in traveling shows. She has done circus inspections and spoken out and testified against the abusive practices of circuses. Colleen has studied elephants in the wild and completed her Master’s degree on unique behavior patterns in musth bulls. She believes that a primary role of zoos is to support field research and conservation.


Florence Ollivet-Courtois

Consultant in medicine and surgery for zoo and wildlife animals.

Read more


Lionel Chapelet

Lionel Chapelet is elephant head keeper in the South of France and has been working with African elephants since 2001. Lionel is passionnate by this species and is very interested by them, both in situ and ex situ. All he wants is just their wellbeing.

Read more

Caitlin O’Connell-Rodwell

Caitlin O’Connell-Rodwell is a world-renown expert on elephants and has written six books about elephants as well as numerous scientific articles and popular magazine pieces. ELEPHANT KING is an award-winning documentary on her research on male elephants, with the companion book, ELEPHANT DON (University of Chicago Press 2015).

Carol Buckley

Carol Buckley is a specialist in the trauma recovery and on-going physical care of captive elephants. From 1974 to the present, Buckley has been responsible for and responsive to elephants: caring for them, living with them, transporting them, spending nights out in the habitat with them, advocating for them, playing with them, being responsible for them and their relative happiness in captivity. Through her experience with elephants, from Tarra the elephant she raised from a calf to the twenty-four elephants she rescued from zoos and circuses and brought to her elephant sanctuary in Tennessee, Buckley has become a leading speaker and expert witness for captive elephants everywhere.

She also works with federal, state, and foreign government agencies and with private organizations to improve elephant welfare and strengthen the regulations that protect elephants kept in captivity.

In 2010, Buckley founded Elephant Aid International and began consulting world wide to help improve the lives of captive elephants and their mahouts.


Gaëtan Petit

Gaëtan Petit is a multi-skilled animal keeper, passionate by wild animals and conservation.

He is a rhinoceros specialist, has worked with captive Asian elephants and observed wild African elephants in South Africa. He is also a comics author and scriptwriter.