Gavin Masterson, PhD

Gavin Masterson, PhD

I love learning.

I am curious and analytical.

From an early age I had an affinity for animals. As a child I often used to go to bed with a beetle held in my curled-up fingers. My love of animals merged with my curiosity and I chose to study zoology, ecology and conservation at university. In my postgraduate studies I focussed on species conservation and science-based conservation policy. My PhD studies blended into my first job, where I worked as a scientist in the Gauteng Provincial government of South Africa. My responsibilities involved reviewing Environmental Impact Assessments, reviewing permit applications for reptiles and amphibians, and contributing to the drafting of national conservation legislation. In other conservation-related work, I have taught conservation and statistics courses at university level and have been fortunate to work with incredible colleagues on a diverse set of conservation projects.

In the course of my research I became interested in open source development. I was initially intrigued by the out-sized benefits which open source software offered for conservation outcomes but my gaze inexorably widened. The amazing #Rstats community on Twitter opened my eyes to a heart-warming diversity of open source projects and purposes. Following this winding path has led to my current job as a data scientist.

My professional goal is to build tools that turn data into a public good. In doing so, I hope to emulate those who have encouraged and inspired me.

  • Species Conservation
  • Data Analysis
  • Conservation Policy
  • Open Source
  • PhD in Ecology, 2014

    University of the Witwatersrand

  • BSc(Hons) in Zoology, Ecology and Conservation, 2004

    University of Witwatersrand

  • BSc in Zoology, Ecology and Conservation, 2003

    University of the Witwatersrand