Interview with Dr. Sam Williams (IGDORE)

Continuing our series of written interviews with researchers at IGDORE: Dr. Sam Williams, conservation ecologist in South Africa with a PhD from Durham University, United Kingdom. Sam tells us about challenges and benefits of working in South African academia compared with British academia, and how remote work makes it easier to thrive academically while also having a rich family life.


Nice article. I’ve also struggled with the two-body problem and ended up deciding not to pursue a permanent position to make it work, but I like the idea of splitting a job between two when it’s possible.

@sam.williams Whereabouts are your expeditions going in South America? I’m based in Brazil and love an excuse to get out of town :smiley:

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Thanks Gavin! I will be working in the Madre de Dios region in the Peruvian Amazon. Is that anywhere near where you are based in Brazil?

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I’m currently living in Alfenas, MG - the Peruvian Amazon is pretty far away!

I went to Manaus to do some bee collecting with EMBRAPA a few years ago, but we just drove out to some field-stations they have close the city. Even that was some thick jungle, so I imagine it will be very dense where you’re going. If you do anything in the Brazilian Amazon then INPA would be good to contact, they are surprisingly well funded for a Brazilian research organization and do a lot of expeditions.

Ah yes, that looks like a bit of a trek! Thanks a lot for the recommendation.