"Dr Andrew Venter was born and grew up in the suburbs of Johannesburg, South Africa, where he attended high school at St Johns College. He then went on to obtain three degrees from the internationally recognised University of the Witwatersrand: a Bachelor of Science and post graduate Honours and Masters degree’s in Botany and Zoology. In 1994 he undertook a PHD in Community Conservation at the then University of Natal (Pietermaritzburg) carrying out his research in and around the Kruger National Park, where he developed policies and procedures for the parks community conservation projects. On completing his PHD he spent the next 5 years in the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park (now iSimangaliso Wetland Park) working with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife to develop the world heritage site’s community conservation strategies. He left in 2000 to become CEO of the Wildlands Trust which later merged with the KZN Conservation Trust to form the Wildlands Conservation Trust, based in Hilton, KwaZulu-Natal, of which he is currently CEO."