Tiwonge Mzumara-Gawa

  • Ornithologist, Museum of Malawi
  • University of Cape Town, Environment


After losing her father in a car accident, Tiwonge was raised by her mother who worked hard to put her and her siblings through good schools and always emphasised the importance of education. After graduating with a BSc in Biology, Tiwonge was awarded a Tropical Biology Association scholarship to Uganda where she was introduced to the field of Ornithology, which now drives her passion for biodiversity conservation. On return to Malawi, Tiwonge found that there was only one Ornithologist in the country (who at the time was away for studies) and she knew immediately that this was a gap that she needed to fill. Tiwonge went on to obtain an MSc in Conservation Biology at the University of Cape Town on a Canon Collins scholarship and then a PhD at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. In 2014, she won the IUCN/IRF Young Conservationist Award which helped highlight her ground-breakinging work to conserve birds in Malawi. Tiwonge currently works as an Ornithologist at Museum of Malawi.

Greatest Achievement

Having the opportunity to pass on the specialist skills I have learned to others.

Professional Interests

Conservation, Ecosystem Management, Environmental Education