Alex was born 1982 in picturesque southern Germany close to the Swiss and Austrian Alps. After having travelled to different regions of the world including Eastern Europe, South and Central America, Northern and Southern Africa, Alex is now studying in Indonesia. He is a PhD student at Gadjah Mada University and has focused his research on applied conservation science. As a voluntary advisor he is responsible for the design and implementation of the Elephant Conflict Mitigation Unit (ECMU) project in Bukit Tigapuluh.
Alex has loved nature since his early childhood and spent much of his life exploring and enjoying it. Although being a formally trained scientist his prime interest was always to protect nature and not merely to research it. Since 2008 Alex focuses on the conservation of the Sumatran elephant and its habitat.
"Elephants are one of the few non-domesticated animals with which we are able to build up strong personal relationships. When studying elephants I often have the feeling that not only am I trying to understand them, but they are doing the same with me, it's just great! For me, elephants are the most exciting and fascinating animals on earth and I am not willing to watch them die down here in Sumatra with my arms crossed and my mouth shut.
"Besides my personal feelings for elephants, I believe that elephant conservation is important because their huge requirements in terms of space and their popularity make them a perfect flagship species for nature conservation. Saving elephant habitat will automatically save the habitat for many other fascinating endangered species such as Sumatran tigers, Sumatran orangutans, and clouded leopards, and all efforts will help protect the remaining precious and highly diverse Sumatran lowland forest itself.
"It is possible to stop the ongoing destruction of the remaining wildlife and wild areas, but we have to act immediately and put all our strength in it," says Alex.