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Meet the team

Sophie and Manuel Baumgartner

Our hobby of observing mammals and especially wild cats and bears in the wild soon turned into a passion.

Through our travels we witnessed tragedies like poaching and habitat loss again and again and soon felt the urge to support the protection of these magnificent animals.
We moved more and more in the direction of conservation and learned a lot until we finally decided to found Felis.


Lorenz Achtnich

Ecologist who studies biodiversity in urban areas.

I am passionate about habitats, the plant communities found in them and the interaction of these plants with the predominant fauna.

Fascinated by the diversity of life on earth and therefore I have a strong conviction of the responsibility to protect it. Wild cats, which can act as flagship species, have a special value in habitat protection. This and the stunning beauty of wild cats are the drivers of my involvement.


Ruben Vernieuwe

I'm a fanatic bird and mammalwatcher.  I am passionate about biodiversity and travelling. Working for the National Plant Protection Organisation I'm able to take part in protecting native plantlife. 

During my master of science in Biology I learned about conservation and its many different aspects. These days conservation is key for animals, plants and ecosystems which are often under pressure from human activity. 

Protecting charismatic species like wild cats means protecting ecosystems but only by including local communities can these projects succeed. 

I'm proud of being a part of Felis and the values it stands for.


Valentin Moser

Passionate about nature, my interests are in biodiversity, ecosystems and conservation. While vertebrates, particularly mammals, are especially interesting to me, all moving things are fascinating. This fascination for nature fuels my desire to do conserve species and habitats for future generations. Cats have a special place in my heart – and conserving these flagship species means conserving valuable habitat around the world. Right now, I am doing a PhD in Switzerland at the WSL / Eawag about ecosystem impacts of beavers, connecting my species knowledge on an ecosystem level. I am motivated to pass on my knowledge and, together with Project Felis, create a win-win situation for cats, nature and people.


Dr. Dechen Lham

I am a conservation biologist interested in diverse themes ranging from species conservation to as broad as protected areas management. My enthusiasm in understanding how research is needed to develop adequate conservation policy has led me to divert my attention from policy making to conservation research. I believe that for conservation to succeed, securing a sustainable livelihood of people dependent on nature is of utmost importance. With my background and experience in conservation policy, species conservation, protected areas management and project management I hope to support and contribute to Felis.     

Currently, I am studying the ecology of snow leopards in Bhutan at the University of Zürich. My research includes understanding the species feeding ecology, distribution, habitat suitability, occupancy, and their interactions with human in a human-dominated landscape.


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