Megan Kessler joined HSI as the Nature Campaigner in July 2022 after a decade as the Scientific Director at the Environmental Defenders Office. Her role includes working to strengthen our national environmental laws and to ensure sustainable and appropriate wildlife trade, with a current focus on banning trophy hunting imports and the domestic ivory trade.

Why did you join HSI?
As an environmental scientist I’ve done a lot of work in partnership with HSI over many years, and I’ve always been impressed by the organisation’s ability to embed good science into government policy. The chance to join the team and work on improving our national environmental laws was too good an opportunity to miss. Strengthening our nature laws will protect our places and animals for the long-term. Oh, and the role gives me an opportunity to work to protect really cool stuff – not only our native plants and animals but elephants, rhinos, giraffes and zebras!

What is special about HSI’s work on nature laws?
HSI was instrumental in the development of the original Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, so as an organisation we are uniquely positioned to know what works, what doesn’t and what else we need to see in our national environmental legislation. Getting the current reforms right will be vital to turning around our extinction crisis, so there’s never been a more important time to be a HSI policy wonk.

What is it that motivates you each day?
Every day we hear news about the dire state of the natural environment. This job provides an opportunity to make a positive contribution to addressing the problems of environmental decline, every day. I find that very motivating!

Do you have a favourite animal?
Given my PhD was on humpback whales, I should probably say whales, but as much as I love them, I think my favourite animal at the moment is the hippo.


Get to know the rest of the HSI Australia team
Nicole Beynon, Head of Campaigns Australia
Evan Quartermain, Head of Programs Australia

Hope from the rubble A legacy of compassion