My name is Stasja Koot and I am employed as a postdoctoral researcher within the crisis conservation project (in addition to a job as lecturer also at Wageningen Univeristy) for three years, from 1 September 2015 to 31 August 2018. Having many years of experience in southern Africa, as a development field worker and as a researcher, I am excited to be a member of this important research project, in which my focus will again be on southern Africa, but with a thematically and geographically different focus.

My role in the project is to be responsible for the overarching, comparative element, between the three case studies in Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa, together with Bram Büscher. Moreover, I will do research myself, which is particularly focused on the rhino crisis in and around the Kruger National Park and in northern KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. In my own research I will focus on two research tracks.

The first research track, on power and the politics of belonging, focuses on the question of how people articulate ideas about belonging (of themselves and others), and how these ideas are mutually influenced by and influence the current rhino crisis. A particular theme that I want to address is how these changing perceptions of belonging influence local paternalist power relations within tourism and nature conservation (in particular nature conservation actors who work with the rhino crisis). The second research track builds on the first one. In this, I will focus on the ways in which the various tourism actors are affected by the current rhino crisis and how they respond to it.