©2018 BY MAX WITHEY.

 
 
 

About

The easiest way to describe myself is as a conservationist who loves to write, make videos, and get involved in field work and research. My main areas of interest are deforestation, rewilding, large mammals, anti-poaching and human-wildlife conflict. I’m passionate about communicating conservation issues, as I believe awareness is the first step towards action.

Max's Background

After spending a misspent youth growing up in the London suburbs, I couldn’t wait to explore the wider world. I had planned to take a gap year before going to university to study Computer Science, and headed to the French Alps for a winter of snowboarding. That gap year continued for a decade. Following a second ski season I went backpacking for the first time, travelling overland from London to India, via the southern route of Turkey-Iran-Pakistan. As my mother likes to say, I left a boy and returned a man.


After three years working in the Swiss Alps, broken up by trips to South-East Asia, a year in Australia came next. While breaking my back doing farm work, I took a TEFL course and began to teach English. On my way back to South-East Asia I stopped off in Sarawak, Borneo, and spent a life-changing week with the indigenous Penan. Witnessing their fight against rampant deforestation inspired my first big writing project. The first blog was born, a 12-chapter story telling their story through the adventure I had with them.


Fast-forward a year and I find myself teaching English in Cambodia, which led to an opportunity with the Wildlife Conservation Society. Spending six months in the jungle, leading a team surveying for poaching activity, made me decide that career in wildlife conservation beckoned. A second blog resulted, culminating in a once-in-a-lifetime trip to an erupting Krakatoa.


New Zealand came next, where I attempted to walk the length of the country, with an injury forcing me to return to England after 6 months. It was finally time for university and ‘I settled in Brighton to study Environmental Sciences. While exploring a variety of issues and learning to be a scientist, I became impassioned by rewilding and did my dissertation on the return of wild boar to Sussex.


During my degree I went on a field trip to a private South African wildlife reserve, falling in love with the bush and the fauna that inhabit it. This resulted in a position as an anti-poaching officer / rhino monitor after I had graduated. The rhinos became part of my life, and I was lucky enough to be offered a research masters studying the impact of dehorning on their behaviour. This also involved conducting novel research on the nocturnal behaviour of these threatened beasts.


Having now graduated with an MRes in Ecology, it is time to write the next chapters…